Parents Share Care of Their Premature Babies at Singleton

An initiative at Singleton Hospital's neonatal intensive care unit allows new parents to look after their premature babies.

Singleton Hospital is the first in Wales to allow new parents the chance to give hands-on care to their premature babies.

Singleton Hospital's neonatal intensive care unit allows new mums and dads to be involved in looking after their newborn babies.

This includes giving them training in tube feeding, taking temperature and giving medication.

The initiative was introduced by Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Health Board in November 2016.

Among the first families to take part were Ellia and Jordan Williams, of Clydach whose son Harry was born nine weeks early and weighing just 3lb 10oz.

Ellia said: "When Harry was first on the unit I hated the thought of leaving him and someone else looking after him when I went home every day.

"I felt helpless, like I wasn't doing enough for him but then the staff explained how we could get involved."

During Harry's five weeks at Singleton, Ellia and Jordan were encouraged to carry out his daily care including having regular skin-to-skin sessions.

"I was so glad Family Integrated Care [FiCare] was encouraged and the nurses were there to help us. We both felt included, it helped us bond with Harry and we really feel it has made it easier now we have him home with us," she added.

FiCare nurse Sarah Davies said the idea was to help develop a partnership between parents and neonatal staff.
"There is no pressure on parents to do anything they are uncomfortable with. We want parents to become more confident in looking after their babies.

Kirsty Thomas, of Llanelli also looked after her son Corey at Singleton. Corey was born 16 weeks early, weighing just 1lb 3oz.

"He was so fragile when he was born and I was very nervous at first. But it's your baby and you want to be involved.

"Now I can help look after him, do his daily care and tube feed him. My husband is involved too and we enjoy being able to have skin-to-skin contact.

The team at Singleton Hospital are looking to extend the initiative in the future.


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