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Program to fight hospital boredom helps bond moms-to-be

Denver7 Everyday Hero Mary Parks.png
Posted at 8:15 PM, Sep 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-12 11:48:15-04

AURORA, Colo. — Every Tuesday and Thursday, volunteer Mary Parks takes over a waiting room at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital.

Her goal is to break the boredom experienced by expectant moms who have to remain hospitalized during the final weeks of their pregnancy.

“It's just boring around here,” Parks said. “If they were at home, one of the things they would be doing is getting ready for this baby that's coming. So, in a tiny way, we duplicate that here by making things for the babies and focusing on that.”

Parks has been running the Boredom Busters program at the hospital for seven years now. She said it’s not a craft class because she doesn’t think anyone would show up if she called it a crafting class. Instead, it’s a chance for the moms and their families who are essentially living on the floor to get to know one another.

“A lot of them are allowed to leave the floor and go outside walk for a while, and this is a way for them to get to know somebody to go walk with,” Parks said.

Those friendships often mean as much, if not more, to the moms as the bibs, blankets and other items they will take home with them from the hospital. The staff who help Parks coordinate her twice weekly Boredom Buster classes said finding others who are experiencing the same challenges can be life-changing for many of the families.

Program to fight hospital boredom helps bond moms-to-be

“A lot of our pregnant patients stay in the hospital for days, weeks and months,” nurse manager Cyndi Aubol said. “Just to get out of their rooms and to socialize and to make a craft for their baby or just to kind of feel just a little bit less medical gives them normalcy to life.”

“This program is profoundly important to the moms,” volunteer services manager Jenny Ricklefs said. “But for Mary to have her have a chance to show her own skills and her abilities to reach out beyond herself, I just enjoy her tremendously.”

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