Nurses helping nurses, making NICU baby blankets in St. Charles

Published: Apr. 4, 2022 at 4:37 PM CDT
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ST. CHARLES, Minn. (KTTC) – A group of neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurses joined together for a good cause Monday.

They were sewing blankets and quilts to give to babies in the Mayo Clinic St. Marys NICU.

For the past several decades, Mayo Clinic St. Marys has been giving babies in the NICU a special keepsake, a blanket.

“We had gotten donations for as long as I’ve worked in the NICU, 23 years, then we started getting fewer donations so we started sewing them ourselves about six years ago,” Mayo Clinic St. Marys NICU Registered Nurse Kris Ingalls.

Finished quilts
Finished quilts(KTTC)

A tradition the NICU nurses wanted to keep going.

“We think all of our babies are special and want to give them something as a keepsake that they can keep forever,” Ingalls said.

The group normally meets a few times a year but has been on a break the last two years because of COVID.

Ingalls said everyone was excited to be back, and the nurses say it’s a great team building activity and a way to give back.

“Super good, it fills our bucket,” Mayo Clinic St. Marys NICU Nurse Manager Tami Omdahl said. “It’s nice to get out, to see each others faces, to get together and do some of that volunteering, and other activities.”

Omdahl knows first-hand the meaning these blankets have after two of her three children stayed in the NICU.

“It feels so good to be on this side, because I remember being that first-time mom, that third-time mom,” Omdahl said. “I was nervous, I was overwhelmed, you’re stressed about everything, you’re worried about the unknown, so it feels so good to be able to give back to those families knowing that it’s going to be okay.”

Sewing machine
Sewing machine(KTTC)

The blankets made Monday will be ready to give to babies in the NICU in a couple weeks.

“Families love it,” Omdahl said. “Super appreciative and they love that the nurses made them, that the nurse practitioners were involved, that the unit health coordinators were involved. We’re all in it together, so families love it and cherish.”

If you are looking to help, the group is always looking for monetary and fabric donations, along with volunteers to help make the blankets.

You can call the NICU at (855) 767-4291.

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