Sunbathing provides well-being for mothers and premature babies hospitalized at HGF


Sunbathing is humanized care provided by the HGF Kangaroo unit team for mothers and newborns

“I am very grateful to be here. My daughter and I have experienced a lot of pain. It’s a gift to be able to be with my daughter and still contemplate the sunset, feel the wind”, says Raquel Honorato, 25 years old, admitted to the General Hospital of Fortaleza (HGF) for almost four months due to complications during the pregnancy period. Little Estela’s mother is one of the women who participate in the Banho de Sol project, which aims to provide comfort and well-being outside the hospital environment. The action initiative is from the multidisciplinary team of the Canguru Neonatal Intermediate Care Unit (Ucinca), linked to the hospital’s Neonatology service, equipment of the Ceará Health Department (Sesa).

The Kangaroo unit, as Ucinca is popularly known, provides mothers with direct skin-to-skin contact with their newborn and, although it is invigorating, the length of stay, generally two to four weeks, can generate sadness and worries about separation. home, in addition to anxiety due to responsibilities lived alone, away from family.

“The children and mothers who are at Ucinca have already experienced other pains and difficulties and many restrictions. They are premature children, with low weight and coming from admission to the Neonatal ICU”, explains Liege Gross, occupational therapist at the HGF service. All newborns undergo assessment until they are considered suitable for the Kangaroo Mother Care.

At Ucinca, mothers stay in contact with their babies 24 hours a day and actively participate in the care of the newborn. “With the Kangaroo Method, we have already alleviated some of the damage caused by the restrictions of the hospital stay, such as encouraging bonding and breastfeeding”, explains the occupational therapist. “Direct contact also favors the development of low birth weight newborns and generates confidence in caring for their children”, she adds.

Photo: Reproduction/Secom Ceará

Raquel Honorato has been at the Canguru unit for a week. She was admitted to HGF in November 2023 due to pregnancy complications. Little Estela was born at 27 weeks

Raquel has been at Ucinca for a week. “I am very grateful to be here. My daughter and I have already experienced a lot of pain, I was afraid of losing her and being able to be with her is the greatest gift I have ever received in my life. I was very afraid that I wouldn’t be able to live this,” she gets emotional as she says.

Little Estela’s mother had an umbilical cord prolapse (when the baby’s body presses on the cord and can cut off its blood supply) and had to be rushed to hospital. “We were saved by being at HGF. It was because of the team’s care that my daughter stayed safe,” she says. Estela was born on the day December 2.

After so much pain, Raquel still has the opportunity to participate in the Banho de Sol project. “We have been living for almost four months in a closed environment, an environment around machines and noisy because of the monitors. I couldn’t be by my daughter’s side, and today the Kangaroo Unit provides me with this and also being able to contemplate the sunset, feel the wind… This makes me very happy”, he highlights.


Care for the mother’s well-being was what motivated the project. “The mother is sleep deprived, offers the breast every three hours, sometimes even every two, and it is not easy. There is tension so that the child does not lose weight, that he develops, and without the support of those who love him, with hospital noises that are so different from his everyday life. The sun is a rescue of the life they have and to which they want to return”, explains Gross.

Photo: Reproduction/Secom Ceará
Photo: Reproduction/Secom Ceará

Visiting the terrace also provides space for conversation and exchange of experiences.

“It has been very pleasant and encouraging to see that it is possible to change, even if for a short time, the lives of these families. They get ready to live in the moment, it really is life saving. We take photos so they can pass on to the family, we open a conversation circle and time for listening. It’s beautiful,” says Liege.

Kangaroo Unit

The Canguru Neonatal Intermediate Care Unit (Ucinca) has five beds. To stay in the service, mothers and babies are evaluated. “Babies need to be clinically stable, without needing oxygen support, intravenous hydration or taking antibiotics. Weight also influences, babies need to have at least 1,250kg”, explains the doctor at the Kangaroo unit, Izabel Cristina Rebouças.

Mothers are also evaluated by Psychology and Social Service services. “It’s a new routine, with attention completely focused on the child. Talking to the mother, assessing whether she is clinically and emotionally stable, ensures that humanized care, which is the objective of the project, is fulfilled”, she explains.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Sunbathing wellbeing mothers premature babies hospitalized HGF



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