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Support for parents of preterm babies

Support for preterm babies

A new booklet and on-line information on breastfeeding for parents of premature babies has been launched at the National Maternity Hospital for World Prematurity Day. The day aims to raise awareness of the issues facing babies born prematurely and highlights supports for parents of premature babies A number of organisations have come together to develop the information resources for parents - the HSE, the Association of Lactation Consultants in Ireland, Irish Premature Babies, the National Maternity Hospital and Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin. Breast milk is vital for premature babies to help them grow and develop and to prevent infections and illness.

Speaking at the launch, Master of the National Maternity Hospital, Dr Rhona Mahony said, ‘Our babies that are born preterm are particularly vulnerable. Breast milk is not only nutrition for premature babies, every drop of breast milk is protecting your baby’s health. Everything that we can do to support parents of preterm babies is important. This practical information launched today is part of the range of supports to help mothers.” Elaine McGovern gave a mum’s perspective, noting, “So many emotions hit you when you have a baby that’s born early. You can feel helpless so it is really good to know that there is something that you can do as a mother to protect your baby’s health, by giving breast milk to your baby.” Irish Premature Babies is a charity dedicated to supporting parents of preterm babies. Their website is

Each year over 4,500 pre-term babies are born in Ireland, every 116 minutes a pre-term baby is born, in one of Ireland’s maternity units.

Irish Premature Babies delivers front line services to families and support the work of the neonatal intensive care units around Ireland by providing vital equipment towards the care of pre-term babies,” said Allison Molloy of Irish Premature Babies. National Breastfeeding Co-ordinator Siobhan Hourigan said, “Mother’s own milk makes such a difference to premature babies. We want to support and help mums to provide breast milk for their babies. The booklet and online information and videos www.breastfeeding,ie talks parents through this and gives step by step tips and photos on expressing milk, kangaroo care, and lots more’. support for parents of preterm babies The newly developed dedicated paediatric area within the emergency department at University Hospital Galway opened its doors to paediatric patients in June, reducing wait times and improving patient flow. The new paediatric area was reconfigured from an existing space to facilitate the development and will accommodate all paediatric patients from 0 – 16 years of age and will cater for both medical and surgical patients. The emergency department at University Hospital Galway sees approximately 17,000 paediatric patients per annum, this accounts for approximately 20-25pc of all presentations to the ED. The new paediatric ED comprises of 6 cubicles, 2 isolation rooms, a separate waiting area from the adult waiting area and a separate access door into the paediatric ED. It is fully compliant with the national HSE charter ensuring complete audio-visual separation from the adult ED area. Children will no longer have to share the same waiting area as adults. The separate area is compliant with

Further information on breastfeeding premature or ill babies here.