Cud­dles the best medicine for new bubs

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWS - CHANEL KINNIBURGH

PRE­CIOUS lit­tle Evanna Mackey was born at 24 weeks ges­ta­tion, weigh­ing just 700g.

She has been a pa­tient in the neona­tal in­ten­sive care unit at the Royal Ho­bart Hos­pi­tal since her early ar­rival on Au­gust 14.

It was 18 days be­fore her par­ents were al­lowed to hold her in their arms. “The first time we got to cud­dle her was on Fa­ther’s Day,” mum Jess Evans said.

“It was very spe­cial, emo­tional and helped set­tle her heart rate.

“Since then, when­ever she’s feel­ing un­well we go straight for a cud­dle first be­fore med­i­ca­tion.

“There’s no way to de­scribe the feel­ing of hold­ing your baby and know­ing that’s the rea­son they’re feel­ing bet­ter.”

Skin-to-skin con­tact be­tween mum and bub straight af­ter birth boosts bond­ing, en­cour­ages breast feed­ing and even trans­fers mum’s in­fec­tion-fight­ing bac­te­ria on to their child.

But pre­ma­ture in­fants are whisked away for treat­ment in that first “golden hour”.

The Royal Women’s Hos­pi­tal in Mel­bourne is now test­ing whether more cud­dles be­tween mum and her preterm baby straight af­ter birth – by per­form­ing much of the treat­ment and ob­ser­va­tion while the newborn is on her chest – is safe and prac­ti­cal.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.