Surrogate grannies are helping premmie babies in the most wholesome way

Posted in Newborn.
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* Sniffs. Wipes tears. Blows nose. *

What a legend

It’s fair to say that this gorgeous story about some kind and loving grandmas has restored our faith in humanity. We’re guessing it’s going to give your day a brilliant boost too!

Compassionate legend and grandma Janice Teppo is part of a very snuggly movement designed to help very tiny babies thrive.

Janice is a volunteer at Edinburg’s DHR Health Women’s Hospital. She works as part of the incredibly important Cuddle Club team which visits the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) bringing with it a serious dose of grandma TLC.

Melbourne’s own Royal Women’s Hospital has a similar program – as do many other Australian and International hospitals.

“Our Cuddler Program is an integral part of our neonatal unit. When parents are not able to be with their baby the NICU team can offer a team of volunteers trained to settle, comfort, play with and cuddle babies,” the RWH explains.

Champion cuddler

Cuddler Janice said her own experience of having a baby with health challenges encouraged her to pay-it-forward and provide some support for other families who were navigating a difficult time.

“I said to God, ‘God, help me make it through this and I’ll pay you back.’ So, as soon as I got this opportunity, it was wonderful,” Janice told CBS.

Each week she pops into the NICU to cuddle babies and distribute cosy blankets for the unit’s little charges. (The blankets are made by members of this gorgeous grandma’s community, especially for the premmie bubs.)

NICU grandma

“How special they are”

With some babies in the hospital for many months after their early arrival, Janice and other Cuddle Club volunteers are also on hand to sit with babies when their mums and dads have to return to work.

“The parents feel so good about going back to work knowing that the grandmas will be here to help with the babies and hold them,” Janice explained.

“With the babies that are very, very special need. They need somebody. They need somebody just to come up here and hold them and sing to them. Just let them know how special they are.”

Monday at 5PM: CBS 4 Hometown Heroes

HOMETOWN HEROES SNEAK PEEK: Meet Janice, the 'NICU Grandma'. 💗Monday on CBS 4 Valley at 5PM, I introduce you to Janice Teppo who's spreading love one baby at a time in the NICU at DHR's Women's Hospital.

Posted by Nicole Hickl CBS 4 News on Friday, 16 August 2019

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