Financial impact on parents with a baby in a neonatal nursery


Kate Rawnsley, mother to 2 year old Macy, recently told us about her experience of having a baby admitted to the NICU after birth and how financial stress was a distraction from what really mattered most.

“After a seemingly normal pregnancy and birth, it was a shock when our daughter was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder (GACI). Macy was in heart failure and wasn’t expected to survive the week. After 9 weeks in intensive care and another 3 months on the cardiac ward, Macy defied the odds and was able to be discharged to hospital-in-the-home. We stayed in an apartment close to the hospital and had regular nurse and allied health visits. After bouncing in and out of hospital for another 6 months, we were finally allowed to take our baby home for good (in regional Victoria) two weeks after her first birthday! Macy will turn 3 soon and she is full of life! Macy’s heart function is improving and she is stable on medications at home. She loves to run and dance and is always making us laugh!

When faced with the possibility of losing your child, money worries are an extra stress that you just don’t want to think about. The suggested paid parental leave scheme would have made the world of difference for us. It would have alleviated one of the uncertainties in our lives and allowed us to focus solely on what was most important - our daughter”.

The CRE in Newborn Medicine wants to hear from you if you are a parent of a baby, or babies, who have required hospitalisation in a neonatal intensive or special care nursery directly after being born on or after January 2013. We would love you to take part in an online survey about your experiences. We plan to use these survey results to advocate for changes to paid parental leave schemes around Australia to ease the financial impact on families at this time of stress and uncertainty.

You can learn more about the survey and how to take part here:


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