For 59 years, the Cherese Mari Laulhere BirthCare Center at MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach has been safely sending newborn babies born in December home in commemorative stockings. This holiday tradition continues today, despite the hardships of the past two years. The stockings are given to babies born between Dec. 20 and Dec. 25, and serve as a special keepsake for the new family.
Last year, the stockings were delivered to babies in each of the family’s rooms to accommodate the uniqueness of 2020. This year, families were able to get out of their rooms and celebrate the holidays safely with their baby and their nurses. The newborns were gathered for their first group photo with Santa and their care team, keeping more in line with how the tradition used to be.
“This event is really great for families who want to observe this special time of year with their new babies and partners in care. This is such a milestone each year, and something that our families and staff really looks forward to,” says Shari Kelly, MSN/MSHA, RN, NE-BC, C-ONQS, RNC-OB, executive director, Cherese Mari Laulhere BirthCare Center and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach. “Families get a special memento and often one of the first photos for their child being born during the holiday season.”
The Cherese Mari Laulhere BirthCare Center cares for all pregnancies, whether routine or high risk. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is immediately adjacent to the BirthCare Center and cares for newborns who need advanced care. The BirthCare Center, a designated Baby-Friendly birth facility, offers a Perinatal Special Care Unit, specialized transport team, private labor and delivery suites, prenatal education classes and comprehensive lactation support, including an Outpatient Lactation Clinic.
“We are a lot busier than we used to be, delivering 15 - 20 babies a day, so this event helps our staff celebrate the birth of our new babies alongside their parents,” says Kelly.
Stephani Krugler and Jose Gonzalez greet their perfect stocking stuffer, their newborn baby girl Amelia.