Avera Medical Minute: Little costumes for the littlest patients

Published: Oct. 31, 2022 at 10:30 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - According to the March of Dimes, more than one out of every ten babies born will require a stay in the NICU after delivery.

It can be a scary time for these new families, but a special team of nurses is working to replace those fears, with some Halloween cheer.

It’s a tradition that has been going on for nearly a decade, NICU Nurses from Avera McKennan spending time outside the hospital to create Halloween costumes for their littlest patients.

“So we have a lot of crafty people in the NICU and so we just love getting together and just making ideas that we’ve had in the past and then trying to come up with some more new ones that we can share with our families,” said Meaghan Albers

One of those is the De Boer family. Emma and Miles have been getting care in the NICU for the past seven weeks after she was hospitalized with severe preeclampsia.

“And then I had Miles two days later and an emergency C-section, and he’s been a rock star ever since. You’re doing so good!” said De Boer.

“Being a NICU nurse can be challenging due to hard days that come, but it’s also very, very rewarding. Just seeing and being able to treat these babies is wonderful and again, having this opportunity to give this to them is awesome.” Said Albers

“First thing that they do is say, Oh, that’s so cute! And it really is, but it’s also just special because we love taking care of these little babies and our families really need something just to cheer them up. Just seeing their faces when they get in the room. And they’re like, ‘Oh, that’s so cute, how did you come up with those?’ And it’s just fun to tell them what we like to do.” Said Albers.

“Some of the costumes in the past we’ve done are peanut butter and jelly, or salt and pepper for our twins that we have up here. And then we just do, foods like a pizza, an avocado or anything like a mermaid. All types of different categories! It’s so it’s fun. I can’t pick a favorite there are so many that are so fun!” said Albers.

“The nurses are amazing here. I am so grateful for all of them. I’m so excited to see all the other babies in their costumes,” said De Boer.

For more information on this story just go to www.Avera.org/MedicalMinute