Mother invents special scent-absorbing blanket to thank Northampton's premature babies' ward for months of care

Gemma Flowers (left) and Polly Major (Right), founders of PetalPatch and fundraiser for Gosset Ward.
Gemma Flowers (left) and Polly Major (Right), founders of PetalPatch and fundraiser for Gosset Ward.
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An entrepreneur is helping mothers at a Northampton hospital be 'together' with their premature babies even when they are apart with her specialised blankets.

Every admission on the Gosset Ward for premature babies, at Northampton General Hospital, will now be gifted a special comforter that smells like their mother.

Polly and Gemma present staff at the Gosset SCBU with the PetalPatch blankets.

Polly and Gemma present staff at the Gosset SCBU with the PetalPatch blankets.

The 'PetalPatch' blankets were donated by creator Polly Major, 36, from Northampton, to thank the staff on the Gosset ward after they saved the lives of four of her six children.

Polly said: "I've wanted to give something back to Gosset Ward for so long. They are like family to me. I've spent months on the ward with my children. They don't just look after the babies, they also look after the families.

"The PetalPatches are a way for mothers to share a bond with their babies when they are apart on the ward."

Mothers keep the PetalPatches close to their skin while their baby sleeps on top of their own matching blanket.

PetalPatches are designed to help mothers and babies share a bond even when they are apart by sharing each other's scent.

PetalPatches are designed to help mothers and babies share a bond even when they are apart by sharing each other's scent.

Then, when their baby is lifted or taken away for care in hospital, the mother can give her child a blanket that smells of her and she can have one that smells of them.

Polly said: "Intensive care can be a very stressful and upsetting time for mothers and their babies, but I hope this will help them be together in some way even when they are apart.

"In my life, I've had four children in intensive care on the Gosset Ward. My youngest was born at just 27 weeks. I once had to wait 24 hours in hospital before I could see my baby. That was a really hard thing to do.

"My friend Gemma and I are both passionate about childcare and we invented the PetalPatch together. We gave Gosset Ward some samples and they loved it."

Northamptonshire Health Charitable Fund has now funded a year's supply of PetalPatches for Gosset Ward.

PetalPatches are on sale from the PetalPatch Facebook page, or email pollyamajor@btinternet.com for more information.

Polly and Gemma also had a day of fundraising at Northampton General Hospital on May 12 with a cake sale.