Exactly one year ago, as part of our 2020 Mercy Day activities, our students started work on a project to support the Mater Mothers’ Neonatal Critical Care Unit (NCCU). As part of the Mercy Day Craft activities, students cut out flannelette hearts which the AHSews Group then made into ‘Cuddle Hearts’.

The fabric hearts are simply two heart shaped pieces of material (soft cotton or flannelette) sewn together. One fabric heart is given to the mother and placed on her chest to pick up her scent, with the other heart placed close to the baby for the same reason. The hearts are then swapped so mother and baby are left with each other’s scented heart.  The program has been introduced to help a mother’s milk come in when she is away from her baby, while the scent of the mother also has a calming effect on the baby.

After many lunchtimes of sewing, we were finally able to present the cuddle hearts to the staff at the Mater Hospital in Brisbane. We also presented some crocheted baby blankets made by Principal, Mrs O’Kane and a mother of one of our staff. All gifts were happily received and on our visit to the Special Care Unit, we saw many hearts in the humidicribs with the premature babies. A number of the mothers in the unit expressed their gratitude for the work done to help support their tiny babies.