Promoting the best care for premature babies

12 September 2018

Parents and their newborn babies in the Neonatal Unit are enjoying eight new reclining chairs to help them get optimum skin-to-skin contact, thanks to generous donations.

Parent enjoying reclining chair with the newborn baby
Parent enjoying reclining chair with the newborn baby

Kangaroo cuddles

The chairs have been proven to help promote kangaroo care, a method which offers support in vital areas such as breastfeeding, bonding between parent and baby, decreasing time spent in hospital, building confidence and aiding mums with milk production.

Leanne’s baby, Edgar, was born premature by caesarean section at 28 weeks, weighing just 610 grams. Leanne spent 71 days in the Neonatal Unit with Edgar, during which time she used the chairs regularly for breastfeeding and expressing milk.

‘It was definitely the best part of the day having a cuddle with Edgar in those chairs,’ says Leanne. ‘The chairs make it pleasant, even after a caesarean. You can relax and you don’t have to worry. If you’re relaxed, your baby is relaxed.’

Leanne also saw how other parents benefited from the chairs in the same way that she did.

She says, ‘Another mum on the unit was scared of holding her premature twins, so a nurse showed me having a cuddle with Edgar using one of the reclining chairs, and it encouraged her to have a go.’

Enhancing comfort and confidence

Babies on the unit are likely to be on a ventilator to help them breathe and can be as little as one kilo in weight. The new chairs are great for helping parents feel as comfortable and confident as possible when holding their little ones.

The chairs also benefit staff as they now know that the complicated process of taking babies out of their incubators will not just be for a short time since the tubes and wires are more effectively supported for longer with the new chairs.

‘These chairs help send a message to the parents that we’ve thought about making them comfortable on the unit,’ says Elaine Wood, Neonatal Sister. ‘They really are a big part of us providing excellent patient care.’

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