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Wrapped in Love

26 Nov 2021

 

Newborn Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children at Nepean Hospital are being welcomed to their local community with a profound sense of belonging, with newly designed muslin wraps building a strong cultural and spiritual connection to health.

Aboriginal Caseload Midwife Cindy Partridge says the ‘Wrapped in Love’ project, which is led by the hospital’s Maternity Unit, gifts muslin wraps symbolising the hospital’s intention to build effective and ongoing relationships with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

“Right from birth we want children to know that we will be alongside them in their health journey,” says Cindy.

“Across the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District we are committed to improving the health disparities that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people face. Introducing ourselves to families early can help instil confidence in our health services and provides an assurance that we can deliver care that is high-quality, respectful and inclusive.”

Local Wiradjuri artist, Karen Lee, designed the artwork ‘Ngadhi-galila’ printed on the muslins wraps. When translated its title means ‘belonging to me’ and encompasses the life of all babies, even those lost.

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'Ngadhi-galila' - Wiradjuri artwork printed on the newly designed muslin wraps.

Muslin wraps are commonly used throughout the early stage of a newborn’s life for swaddling to help the baby feel safe, comfortable and protected.

Young Walan-Bila Bell was the first child to be presented with the newly designed wraps with his mother, Corina describing the gift as a kind gesture that will go a long way in helping to build trust with new families who don’t frequently engage with health services.

At Nepean Hospital there are approximately 4,000 babies born each year.

In the past year alone more than 14% (572) identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

“We’re so excited to provide such meaningful gifts to new families. We hope that this project helps us to form strong relationships with our community and brings us one step closer to Closing the Gap,” says Cindy.