Vicky Charles, 32, from Salisbury and mum to Samaire, 23 months, nominated Kit Pennington, an NICU nursery nurse at Salisbury District Hospital, to win the Beyond The Call Of Duty trophy at Mother&Baby's Big Heart Awards. Here, she reveals why...
‘I will be forever grateful for the extra work Kit put in to helping me breastfeed when my daughter was born five weeks prematurely.
Samaire had no suck or swallow response and was initially fed formula through a tube, but Kit came to support us and tell me about kangaroo care. She undressed my baby and put her on my bare chest, then put a blanket over us.
It took a while for my milk to come in, but Kit worked really hard to help us establish breastfeeding. She showed me different positions, including lying on my side when I was tired or really struggling.
She showed me different positions, including lying on my side when I was tired or really struggling
Her encouragement meant the world, and she’d sit with us telling me how well we were both doing.
When it looked like Samaire would have to go back into NICU and be separated from me, I was distraught, but Kit arranged for her jaundice lamp to be moved onto my ward so we could stay together and feed underneath it.
I felt like more than just a patient to Kit. She never made me feel like she was too busy to spend an hour sitting at my bedside, and Samaire went on to breastfeed until she was 17 months old.’
Whether it's position inspiration or breastfeeding support you need, check out our dedicated feeding section. And find out more about our incredible Big Heart winners, including Fantastic Father James and Mum In A Million Hayley.