Coffee Mornings February, March & April

Our monthly informal Coffee Mornings are a wonderful way to connect with the community. Each month we choose a new location to ensure as many people as possible are able to come to a gathering, not too far from home. Everyone is welcome to come along including parents, carers, extended family and Crafty Creators. Topics of discussion typically revolve around pregnancy, birth, the Neonatal Unit and the challenges that lay beyond.

RSVPing is not essential, but we do encourage you to do so via the Facebook event pages (click through the images below) so that we can keep an eye out for you. We welcome you to join us on:

  • 18 February at 10am at Hatched Coffee Shop, Kingsley.

  • 18 March at 10am at Whistler’s Chocolate Company, Middle Swan.

  • 15 April at 10am at Lo Quay River Cafe, Wilson.

If you have a cafe you love be sure to let us know and hopefully we can add it to our roster for later in the year!

We look forward to meeting more of you throughout 2019.

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Christmas in NICU


Spending Christmas in a neonatal unit can be incredibly tough on families. For many Christmas is a time to come together and make special memories. Most neonatal units in Western Australia have a ‘parents only’ visitation policy for infection control, and this means that siblings are often unable to meet their new baby brother or sister until discharge. It also means that families are split on special occasions such as Christmas. We know that many staff go above and beyond during the Christmas period to bring as much cheer as possible to their unit but it’s still challenging for families.

In 2015 we launched our annual Christmas Quilt Drive. This year we were once again successful in delivering Christmas Quilts to all babies occupying neonatal unit beds on Christmas morning in WA. This is only made possible through the generosity of the community! Thank you to all of our Crafty Creators who have put countless hours into sewing beautiful Christmas Quilts and Stockings for distribution. You really can see the love that goes into creating these keepsakes for families.

Each year we have been joined by the amazing family run Perth business, Foote & Flame, who have donated ‘Baby’s 1st Christmas’ ornaments for distribution with our quilts. Their support is phenomenal and to date they have donated a staggering 750 ornaments!

This year we delivered 255 Christmas Quilts to 24 different hospitals in WA. The bulk of them were delivered to Perth’s King Edward Memorial Hospital (KEMH) who have Western Australia’s largest neonatal unit.

It was wonderful to have the opportunity to share our Christmas Quilt Drive publicly through 10 News First (watch their story below), The West Australian and The Western Suburbs Weekly. Click through to read their articles. Huge thanks to each of them for helping us raise awareness in the wider community.

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Program Expansion

In 2018 we were so very fortunate to be beneficiaries of the amazing Army Art Exhibition. We are pleased to announce that funds received from Army Art are directly funding 48 additional placements in Developmental Playgroup in 2019! This will double our program to a total of 96 placements for the year!

Army Art are also entirely volunteer run and each year make a significant contribution to the WA community. We are so grateful to their committee and volunteers who work tirelessly to put together the annual exhibition.

Each term 24 placements will be offered in Developmental Playgroup, in two streams split as follows:

Group 1 - Babies aged 6 months up to reaching the milestone of walking (12 placements)

Group 2 - Toddlers who are walking up to age 3 years (12 placements)

Each group will run on opposite fortnights during school terms, on Tuesday mornings from 10am - 11:30am at Ability Centre, Coolbinia.  Each session will be facilitated by an experienced Play Leader and attended by suitably qualified and experienced Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist and Speech Pathologist on a rotational basis.

This program is suitable for any baby/toddler who was admitted to a neonatal unit at birth. Both children born prematurely and those born full term but sick are welcome to enrol. Enrolment is on a first come first served basis and will open on January 16.

More information about Developmental Playgroup can be found on our website here.

Army Art cheque presentation with their Ambassador Senator Linda Reynolds, Committee and volunteers.

Army Art cheque presentation with their Ambassador Senator Linda Reynolds, Committee and volunteers.

Celebrating our 5th Birthday with some of our Term 4 2018 families.

Celebrating our 5th Birthday with some of our Term 4 2018 families.

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Anal Stenosis

Anal Stenosis... have you heard of it?  Mum Sheree shares her story.

“When my son was 5 weeks old, we noticed he always seemed uncomfortable. Sometimes his little face would go bright red and he would just wriggle with discomfort. He didn’t cry or scream - he just didn’t seem relaxed.

I took him to the doctor who said it was colic, and to try infants friend or gripe water. We bought everything we could find at the chemist and tried them all. He didn’t seem to be any different, so I took him to another doctor who again said it was colic and we would need to ride it out for his first three months. I absolutely couldn’t bare to think that my little man would have to be uncomfortable for at least another 7 weeks.


When my son was born he had a small Exomphalos of his bladder. This is where a portion of the bladder protrudes the abdominal wall at the umbilical joint. He had this operated on the day after he was born. We had to visit his surgeon six weeks after the surgery to ensure everything was healing fine and to receive some tests results. I decided to take the opportunity to ask the surgeon if he had any advice on how to deal with colic. He asked me to describe the symptoms and when I explained that he just seemed uncomfortable all the time he asked to examine my sons bottom. I thought it strange but agreed. Upon the surgeon poking a finger into my sons bottom, a massive amount of poop exploded from my sons behind. I couldn’t believe it. The surgeon advised that my son had what is called anal stenosis. Anal stenosis is a narrowing of the anal canal, meaning that when my son pooped he wasn’t able to finish completely as it wouldn’t fit through his anal passage. He would have to have surgery.

The surgery was booked for two weeks time. I was so happy to finally have a solution to why my son always appeared uncomfortable, but I was frightened of the surgery. Any event where my little boy was put to sleep was not something I could be comfortable about. Having been 6.5 weeks premature he was still so small.

On the day of the surgery, I was a mess. My husband was trying to be manly and strong but he too was a little scared. We waited while he had the surgery, not speaking at all, as we were so nervous. The surgery was over within an hour and a half and our son was returned to us. He was emotional from being in a little pain and I think from being scared and not understanding what was happening. The surgery had gone well the surgeon assured us. It was such a relief to have it all over with.

I stayed the night with my son in the hospital and most of the night he just wanted to be held. By the next morning it was if nothing had happened and he was back to himself. 

Anal stenosis is not something I had ever heard of, but occurs 1 in every 5000 births and is common in boys.  My son is now 14 months old and so far he hasn’t had any issues to speak of. I feel so lucky to have had the appointment with the surgeon, as my son could have been in pain for some time as we continued to try different colic mixtures to no avail. If you feel there is something not right with your little one, follow your instincts.”

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