Friday Fast Five: Meet Mandy Daly

Friday Fast Five: Meet Mandy Daly

Each month we interview individuals associated with the Australasian NIDCAP Training Centre and the broader NIDCAP Federation International (NFI) community, asking them five questions that explore their association with our unit and NIDCAP. This month, meet Mandy Daly a Medical Underwriter and Nutritionist, Co-Founder of the Irish Neonatal Health Alliance and is a mother to Amelia a premature baby born in 2006. Mandy is a member of the Parents Advisory Board of the European Foundation For  The Care of Newborn Infants (EFNCI), she sits on the board of the NIDCAP Federation International and is a Chair Committee Member of the Standards of Care for Newborn Health project.

How long have you been associated with the NIDCAP Federation International (NFI)? I have been officially associated with the NIDCAP community since September 2012 but I first came across NIDCAP when my daughter, Amelia was in the NICU in 2006. Like every new parent who finds themselves plummeted into the alien world of the NICU I turned to the internet in an attempt to learn about preterm birth and the journey we faced: that is where I first learned about NIDCAP.

What is your role in the NIDCAP international community? I have been a NIDCAP board member and member of the Advancement Committee since 2012. In recent times I was appointed the Co-Chair of the Family Advisory Council with Samantha Butler. (Boston Children’s). The objective of the council is to reach out to families around the globe, raise awareness of NIDCAP, provide information to families to help them understand the evolving parent/infant relationship and empower them to become primary caregivers supported by NICU staff.

In your opinion how does NIDCAP potentially benefit newborns, families and staff? During my daughter’s three month NICU stay I started a diary in which I recorded Amelia’s behaviors. There was so little else that I could do for my daughter (or was allowed to do). All I could do was watch my little girl as she struggled to cope with the many challenges she was facing. 6 years later NIDCAP taught me that my diary entries were Amelia’s way of communicating her difficulties with the world she found herself struggling with. I had been instinctively drawn towards recording her behaviors without understanding the significance of my observations.

Since 2012 it has been my privilege to help families build that important early relationship with their infants and guide them in observing  and responding appropriately to the subtle language of their child……something that we were denied in 2006

In your opinion how does NIDCAP potentially benefit newborns, families and staff? Every preterm and sick child deserves the best possible start in life and NIDCAP needs to be part of caregiving in every NICU across the world to ensure best outcomes for infants and their families.

 Editor's note: The views of individuals do not represent the view of the Australasian NIDCAP Training Centre.