New chairs help with Kangaroo cuddles on the neonatal unit
Parents and their newborn babies on the Neonatal Unit at Airedale Hospital are enjoying three new reclining chairs to help them get optimum skin-to-skin contact, thanks to a generous donation from the Friends of Airedale charity.
The chairs have been proven to help promote kangaroo care, a method which offers support in vital areas such as breastfeeding, bonding between parents and their baby, decreasing time spent in hospital, building confidence and aiding mums with milk production.
Babies on the unit can be as little as one kilo in weight and the new chairs are great for helping parents feel as comfortable and confident as possible when holding their little ones.
Rachel Asher from Earby has been using the chairs while on the unit with her baby Riley.
Baby Riley was born at 26 weeks weighing just 2lbs 7oz (1.1kg) and is now 10 weeks old and weighs 6lb. He is going home today, after a long time on the unit.
“He came far too early, he wasn’t due until 16 March and when he was born he was the smallest baby on the unit. He’s strong though and has been lifting his head since he was a couple of weeks old. I had him on my chest at 3 weeks old and he pushed up to have a good look. I’ve used the chairs and dad has too, they’re very comfy.”
Kelly Rae, neonatal nurse at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust says:
“Parents being able to cuddle their babies and have lots of skin to skin time is so important for both them and their baby, for lots of different reasons. The chairs we used to have before were very hard and upright which were quite uncomfortable, especially for a mummy who has just given birth.
“The new recliner chairs mean that premature and poorly babies can have much longer cuddles with their parents. So many families are going to benefit from these chairs in the future. We are very grateful to the Friends of Airedale for their very generous donation. “
Eileen Proud, President of the Friends of Airedale says:
“It is amazing how babies blossom on the unit. We’ve already bought quite a few of these chairs for the children’s ward so parents can stay in comfort next to their child and we’re very happy to provide them for parents and their babies on the neonatal unit too.”