We are “The Flemish Association for Parents of Incubator Infants (VVOC), an association that represents the voice of premature and ill-born children and their parents. As VVOC, we focus on supporting and representing the interests of this target group. To this end, we have links with practice, (national and international) policy and education. Feel free to take a look at our website: https://www.vvoc.be/
On November 17th, World Prematurity Day, we normally organize an annual learning or family day and provide gifts for parents whose child has been admitted to a neonatal care unit. This year as well, we supply all 80 neonatal care units in Belgium with these gifts. However, due to the COVID-19 epidemic, our learning day cannot take place. That is why this year we would like to put extra effort into the familiarization of our association and the awareness of the importance of a good environment and support for incubator infants and their parents.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made visit policy and proximity for parents and their neonatal children more complex, but COVID-19 or not, our parents need to be able to be with their prematurely born baby in the safest possible conditions. This as often as they want, when they want and with the essential proximity for the parents and child such as skin-to-skin contact. It has been scientifically proven that this closeness makes a real difference to both the physical and mental health and well-being of parent and child.
On this World Prematurity Day, we would like to highlight this with the message that parents' love and proximity to a child is vitally important at all times, including during this corona pandemic. We must not underestimate the fact that people are afraid to go to their child or to carry it because of a possible infection with the COVID virus, the effects of which we do not yet know enough about.