Snug in a rug
Babies born at Mid-Central’s maternity units will leave with a soft and cosy gift to keep them warm.
Pink or blue blankets have been offered to all mums of newborns as part of a month-long promotion to educate parents about the benefits of using natural fibres to keep babies warm.
Polyester fleece is made from recycled plastic and doesn’t breathe. As newborn babies are unable to regulate their body temperatures, the artificial fabric can easily cause them to overheat.
First time mum Teneia Haronga heard about the programme through her antenatal classes at Palmerston North’s Community Birth Services.
‘‘We found out we were not supposed to use polyester to wrap our babies in. There were nine couples in the antenatal class and at first we didn’t understand about polyester fleece - it’s such a nice fabric - until we saw how much it affected babies.
‘‘When they’re asleep, they sweat. Then their core temperatures drop, and you don’t notice.’’
The ‘wool for warmth, fleece for fun’ programme runs until September 11, and while there was still a place for fleece as a play blanket, parents are recommended to use natural, breathable fibres to wrap sleeping babies in.
Teneia Haronga with newborn Manaia. and woollen blanket