“Spinning babies” might sound like a video game, but in reality it’s an inventive, proactive approach to creating an easier birth. Thanks to donor generosity, the Spinning Babies program, along with some new technology and items that enhance care for babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), are available at our northern Colorado hospitals.

In addition to Spinning Babies, donors’ gifts through the foundation have enabled these opportunities to be realized:

NICU camera system. A 24/7 video-streaming system was installed in UCHealth Poudre Valley Hospital’s NICU to enable parents and extended family to remotely view their critically ill premature baby in the hospital.

HeRO monitoring system for the PVH NICU. HeRO analyzes vital-signs data and produces a score that serves as an early-warning system for sepsis in NICU patients. Early diagnosis and treatment is the best way to stop sepsis. In its first eight months, the system identified three cases of early sepsis, enabling the team to escalate care.

Books for NICU babies. Free books are given to families to encourage reading during the first days and month of a baby’s life. Reading aloud to babies supports infant brain development, promotes family bonding and reduces stress.

NICU milestone beads. Glass beads are given to families to commemorate unique and important milestones (e.g., first hold, first bath, hearing test, etc.) throughout a baby’s NICU stay.

NICU graduation. To celebrate a baby’s discharge to home, a graduation ceremony is held in the NICU. Babies are dressed in a “NICU grad” onesie and receive a cap, tassel, and personalized diploma. Families may pose for a keepsake photo in the unit as well.

“Our staff is always looking for ways to enhance and advance the care we provide,” said Laura Hall, director of nursing for women and children’s services. “Philanthropy truly helps empower us to innovate and stay on the leading edge. We are deeply grateful.”