Registered Nurse Carmel Fish knows the importance of reading to babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Having worked at Royal North Shore Hospital’s NICU for the last 31 years, Carmel is a passionate advocate for parents reading to their babies in the NICU. For the last two years she has coordinated the Little Readers Read-a-thon which aims to empower parents to read to their baby every day.
Carmel said while a baby is in the NICU critical brain development is occurring, including the development of the pathways in the brain that control language skills.
"By reading to your baby in the NICU, you’re not only bonding with them and reducing some of the stress associated with being in the NICU, but you are also supporting your baby’s brain development," she said.
"It’s a long day for parents to come and sit in the NICU with their baby. Reading to your baby is an activity parents can do every day during a time where many feel helpless in an intense and stressful environment."