Over the past few months, SMMC volunteers have been busy knitting special Christmas hats for December babies. The knit hats are red with a white band on the bottom and a white pom-pom on top.
Volunteers work throughout the entire year crocheting and knitting pastel colored hats for the babies born at SMMC to keep their heads warm during their stay. June Caler, SMMC chaplain, said the Christmas hats would be something fun and different for the families who have babies in December.
Caler thought of the idea last spring and coordinated with the volunteer office to find people who were willing to help. There are about 25 people working on the project including volunteers, staff and friends of SMMC.
SMMC delivers more babies annually than any other hospital in Kansas City with nearly 4,000 every year. The hospital estimates 350 babies will be delivered this December. To be prepared, the volunteers are trying to knit 400 hats.
“We are nearing the 400 mark and hope we will have enough,” Caler said.
For the past few years, the volunteer office has also worked on making large, red stockings that mimic blankets. During December, the hospital staff wraps babies in the stockings when the newborns are given back to their parents after the delivery. Now babies will have matching hats making them look like little Christmas gifts, Caler said.
Caler led a dedication of the new Christmas hats and stockings on November 29 in the SMMC Prayer Chapel. The dedication included a prayer over the hats and stockings so they can be blessed before they are given to the newborn babies and their families.
“I can’t wait to see all those babies in their cute little hats,” Caler said. “I hope they are something special for the families that they can keep forever.”
Because the number of births at SMMC increases every year, the hospital is currently undergoing a $42 million expansion of its birth center. The new birth center is set to open in early 2013 with the capacity to safely deliver 5,000 babies a year. The birth center will be three times larger than the current unit and will include 19 labor and delivery rooms and 36 private postpartum rooms.
For more information about labor and delivery services at SMMC, call the ASK-A-NURSE Resource Center at 913-676-7777 or click here.