Micro-preemie Premature Babies

Controversy Over ‘Preemie In The Pocket’ Picture

A senior nurse at Haifa’s Bnei Zion Medical Center’s neonatal unit was photographed recently with a premature baby-girl in her uniform pocket – as a humorous gesture.

Nurse photographed with premature baby in her pocket

The nurse is considered one of the ward’s most dedicated employees, with a career spanning more than a dozen years.

The weird part about the story is that the photo was taken as part of a presentation meant to be screened for parents of premature babies hospitalized in the neonatal unit.
Nurse photographed with premature baby in her pocket 2Dr. Amnon Rofe, director-general of the Bnei Zion Medical Center, said

“It Illustrates the ‘kangaroo method’ which is supposed to teach parents how to create a direct physical bond with the preemies. After we realized that when people see the photo they either smile or are completely shocked, we decided to take it out of the presentation.”

The nurse shown in the photo, stressed Dr. Rofe, “is a senior nurse, who’s very good at her job. All she did was pose for the photo, she didn’t initiate it.”

Any parent that has had a premature baby in a NICU will know that what this nurse is doing the NOT the ‘Kangaroo Method’.

Kangarooing your baby refers to skin to skin contact between the parent and baby to create a bond and give the baby security and warmth. Sticking a, what appears to be a 2.5 – 3lbs, baby in a pocket is not only the exact opposite of Kangaroo Care, but it was probably scary and cold for him/her.

This hospital definitely needs to re-evaluate how they teach parents to create a bond with their baby!

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About the author

Lisa Arneill

Mom of 2 boys and founder of GrowingYourBaby.com and World Traveled Family. When I'm not running around after my boys, I'm looking for our next vacation spot!


  • Unbelievable….my baby was preemie and spent almost 2 months in the NICU and thats defenitely not kangaroo method. If i saw a nurse holding my baby like that i would punch her square in the face. First off your supposed to keep the baby wrapped and warm if not in the incubator and what if she misstepped and that baby fell out of her pocket, man i would kill her. She should of been fired, thats not proffessional at all, that was very stupid of her to do.

  • This is outrageous, completely disrespectful towards the infant and the family, having a premature baby should never been seen as “Humorous”. Its not safe regarding temperature control or maintainence of airway, and it not in accordance of any guidelines with regards to developmentally supportive care. (Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse)

  • OH MY GOSH! How can people HONESTLY treat Preemies that way? I mean, okay, if this ia a senior nurse, who is “Really good at her job”, WHY in God’s name would she do something like that? I don’t care if she didn’t initiate it, if she was a GOOD nurse, she would put a stop to it. That’s awful.

  • this is awful, although she didn’t ‘initiate’ it, she still wasn’t senior enough to say she didn’t want to be a part of it. this woman should have been fired, do the parents of this baby now that this stupid woman did this? if id have known god knows what I would have done, but I do know she definatly wouldn’t be smiling. negligence and immaturity at its worst.

  • You guys are ridiculous. I agree it was a stupid move but your so quick to jump on the nurse for being in the photo. WHERE in the article did it say the parents disagreed with their baby being used in the shot? NOWHERE so jump on them for treating the baby like crap too. I’m also sure it was uncomfortable for the baby, but definitely NOT harmful. Get off your high horses..or better yet…fall off

  • Until one of you is a NICU Nurse taking care of that specific baby, you can’t tell what is and what is not harmful for her. None of you were there either, so you don’t know exactly what happened and who was there. So I agree with Heather. Get off your high horses and don’t be so quick to point the finger before you know the FULL story from BOTH sides.

  • my grandson is a preemie still in the nic unit in stpete all childrens. and i’ll tell you the nurses are unbelievable! this picture is awful! but it does not surprise me after what ive witnessed since the birth of my grandson. the nurses are horrible! not all, but most of them treat those infants life just another number! i can not wait until my precious baby can come home because i do not trust them. if this was my child in this picture, i would be in jail! and she wouldnt have a job!

  • get off your high horses??!! are you stupid? if you done this to your own child, your baby would be snatched away from you! this is totally inapropriate behavior for a nurse! im sorry but she should be fired! i always thought the nic nurses were angels until i witnessed hours on end in the nic unit of what they do, trust me they are not what you think!

  • I had my baby 11 weeks premature and I know that when I had him out of the incubator for a cuddle he had a all-in-one on, a little wool hat and was wrapped in blankets/baby nest. The treatment of the baby in the photo is very unprofessional and disrespectful but I feel that there are a few people to blame for the picture not just the nurse thats in it. I saw a nurse sat with a baby on her knee and this baby had lots of dark hair which she had styled into a mohawk and I thought that was wrong. Premature babies are not playthings. Its one of the most horrendous times anyone can go through.

  • obviously the parents knew that was happening. if they didn’t that would be illegal, you can take a picture of someone with the intent to publish it without written or verbal consent.

  • I just wanna cry when I saw that… I def not liking what I am seeing on this picture…. making me so mad with the picture and feel so sad for the helpless baby.

  • I don’t care if the parents were aware/present the nurse should have known that this was a stupid idea. My son was 7 weeks premature and I would NEVER have condoned this behaviour. As a previous person said when they are taken out of the incubator they are dressed up to keep warm. I hope she got the sack for this……

  • As a RN, and a mother of 27week Preemie Twins I am appauled! Regardless of parental approval or not the RN should have (as a professional) been an advocated for her Pt and spoke up as to the stupidity of this picture!

  • Totally appalling and 100% uncaring and unprofessionalof staff. Most often parents are unaware of how critical thier little one’s condition really is. This isn’t implying stupidity, but niavety. As a parent of a 26 preemie and doing the kangaroo hold, I find this insulting and putting the little one’s quality of life at risk. The fragility of her skull, her inability to keep body temperature, her little joints not having the strength to withstand such movements. From the appearance of this little one, she may have been to small to go without oxgyen. If that was the case, it meant that for a better photo op the oxgyen was removed. If the parents initiated this, the nurse should have redirected their “creativity”. We wanted to get as many pictures of our little one, but we were always instructed as to “when and how” would be the safest for our daughter. This beautiful little girl’s dignity is worth much more.

  • I would seriously knock her out could had she done this to my child. Horrible. If its not hard enough leaving your child’s side in the nicu to go sleep and eat you have to worry about some idiot doing this.

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