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Empowering new parents in their own language

RPA Newborn Care launches support videos for multilingual families.

Nurse holding an iPad and showing it to a mum
SydneyConnect image: Bonnie sharing a Newborn Care video with Avneet 

As it is for close to half of all families living in Sydney Local Health District, English is not the first language spoken by new mum Avneet Kaur. 

When visiting RPA Newborn Care for a routine antenatal scan, she ended up delivering her second child early at 36 weeks who needed a short stay in Newborn Care, the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery.

Avneet’s introduction to parenthood was supported by watching Newborn Care’s new in-language instructional videos, which she found valuable.

“When I go home and have to look after my baby, what I learned will be very helpful,” she said.

The video project is a series of educational videos in six key languages, led by Bonnie Fonti, Clinical Nurse Specialist, who won funding in 2022 from The Pitch.

With the new resources, Bonnie and her team hope to provide equitable care, particularly when English is a second language.  

“It can be difficult. One mum once told me that she got so stressed out, she forgot how to speak English,” Bonnie said. 

“In an already stressful situation, providing families with some educational tools in their own language can be really helpful and can help minimise fear of the unknown. Reducing stress provides better outcomes for families and babies.”

The team is continually strive to improve the care they provide to babies and families, delivering patient-centred care not only when they are in Newborn Care, but also once they head home.

Bonnie hopes that these videos will support the midwifery and antenatal staff at RPA and Canterbury hospitals to better engage with their patients and empower parents to have a positive role in their own education.

“Parents will have access to rewatch the videos as many times as they need, to reinforce key messages and strategies,” Bonnie said. 

The video series was developed alongside senior clinical staff and in partnership with Newborn Care families, and with the support from the District’s Diversity Programs and Strategy Hub.

Each video presents key factors in newborn development for families, and topics covered include feeding, jaundice, developmental care, emotional support, and discharge planning.

The languages include Arabic, Vietnamese, Bengali, Mandarin, Nepalese, and Mongolian - an emerging language in our District with limited interpreter services available.

To provide easy access for parents and carers, the videos can be viewed by scanning QR codes from posters  displayed in both the RPA and Canterbury neonatal units. 

View the video series here.