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Should I do this? (health profesionals advice, prem baby parents advice please)

(14 Posts)
Tigerlillies Tue 08-Feb-05 14:15:05

I promote the use of slings and baby carriers because I strongly believe that babywearing helps to make new parents feel competant and relaxed as well as sotthing babies and toddlers. Basically its something that I feel very passionatly about for various reasons.
I know many people dont see baby wearing as an important issue so I'm hesitant to arrange sling demos in groups. Atm it has all been one on one talks about slings.
It is however becoming more fashionable to use slings now and in America and Aus there are wraparounds available in premature baby units to encourage kangaroo care.
After seeing my nephew in hospital (born 9 weeks prematurely) I'm not sure that the issue of touch to aid development and attachment is really being discussed. Although I know that using a sling is the least of these parents concerns I can see how it would benefit a neo natal unit to have a few wraparounds, ring slings around.
It makes sense to me to offer these hospitals free wraparounds but I dont want to do it or write the letter with the suggestion without checking that I have seen everyside of this and not missed the point entirely somewhere along the line.
I want to know-
As a mother/father of a premature baby would you appreciate/have found a use for a sling in the units? Were you adequetly informed about the importance of skin to skin contact?
As a health proffessional do you think Kangaroo care is used on wards? Would slings benefit neo natel units, wards with full term babies and those with special needs? Do you feel that you know enough about Kangaroo care, attachment and slings to offer advice to new mothers? What kind of reaction do you think my offer will get?
Thank you for any advice you can give,
B x

beachyhead Tue 08-Feb-05 14:41:58

Kangaroo care is encouraged - my dd was 9 weeks early. A sling is not really going to work as there tend to be so many tubes attached to the baby (normally at least a feeding tube) so that trying to manourve all that into a sling could be tricky...plus you don't really go anywhere with your prem, you just sit with skin contact or lie on a bed. Units to not encourage walking around with prem babies, I guess with all the equipment around, and the unfamiliarity of the prem baby to hold.

So sorry - don't really see the need - one more thing to worry about IMO.

jellyhead Tue 08-Feb-05 15:04:12

TL I am a neonatal nurse and the unit I work on does encourage kangaroo care for all babies eg ventilated requiring intensive care and for the special care babies usually not attached to monitors.
Neonatal units care for the sick newborn up to sometimes a year of age, babies that have gone home and need admission go to paediatric wards.
I can't honestly see a sling being of much help in a neonatal unit due to the monitoring equipment and for safety reasons and infection control parents are not encouraged to walk around holding their babies.
This is the same on the postnatal wards and probably the paed wards.
Kangaroo care is very effective as it allows skin to skin contact and the baby to be monitored in a safe environment. Most babies seem to gain great comfort from it and it helps parents establish a relationship with their baby in the alien environment of NICU. It has been widely used in the UK for 10 years plus and there is a mountain of literature to support it's use.
The use of slings would require physio input and considerations of head control and posture for the preterm.
I can't at this time envisage the use of a sling in the hospital but would see it as something to be discussed on discharge home.

Tigerlillies Tue 08-Feb-05 15:14:00

Yes I tend to agree with you.
It is practised in Australia which made me consider it here but I couldnt see why it was neccessary if you can only sit with them. In my mind I think I'm imagining a situation where the baby is stronger and is coming out of the incubator and the mother needs to hold the baby to reestablish bonds.
My nephew was born on Tuesday and since then he hasnt been held next to his mums skin. There doesnt seem to be any advice regarding Kangaroo care and so far they have been discouraged to touch him even though he is quite strong.
But I'm not there every minute and I'm not a doctor so I'll leave it there. The nurses have been wonderful so far, really lovely people who work in those neonatal units.
Thanks for your help beachyhead.

Tigerlillies Tue 08-Feb-05 15:18:30

Thanks jellyhead
I will give it a miss then.
I wouldnt have thought of this as an option if I hadnt seen the same thing being initiated elsewhere.

jellyhead Tue 08-Feb-05 16:05:44

Tigerlillies. Hope your nephew is getting better.I don't know why his parents aren't being encouraged to touch him as even the most extreme premature baby benefits from their parent's contact.
Encourage your nephew's mum to ask their nurse and to do things like nappy changes.
Don't be discouraged by my views on slings some other units especially ones that have babies requiring less intensive care might think they are a great idea.
You could write to the neonatal unit Nurse Manager at hospitals to get some responses.

sparklymieow Tue 08-Feb-05 16:14:50

Our local hospital encourages Kagaroo care too, I remember sitting in a posh rocker chair with my two DDs (9 weeks prem. and 7 weeks prem) with them on my chest and a blanket over them.

crunchie Tue 08-Feb-05 16:27:56

Kangaroo Care is widely encouraged as far as I am aware. Your nephew maynot have had the benefit of this yet, because although you say he is is strong it maybe considered too early. It was 11 days before I was allowed to hold my dd (27 weeker) and no-one else (bar dh) was allowed to hold her for a good few weeks. I wouldn't be suprised if your nephew was given skin to skin cuddles v soon. He maybe strong but he stilll has to be able to keep his temerature stable first

Tigerlillies Tue 08-Feb-05 20:22:23

You were all right actually. I have seen them both today and after they persisted they have been told they will be able to hold their baby tomorrow. It was because of temperature crunchie.
My work generally leads me to give demonstrations for mums of full term newborns and older babies/toddlers. It was just hearing that after a week there had been no skin to skin contact that I started to feel concerned especially as my BIL and his girlf are having problems adjusting to the situation and the new baby.
Thank you for your help I feel much better about it all now.
B x

RTKangaMummy Tue 08-Feb-05 20:34:54

I wasn't allowed to hold my ds for a long time after he was born.

His skin was just too delicate

We did do kangaroo cuddles when he was strong enough which we loved

WestCountryLass Tue 08-Feb-05 20:53:44

With my DS kangaroo care was promoted when the hospital had time Basically, with a baby attached to multiple monitors and drips, a nurse was needed to help get the baby out of the incubator and the staff were often too busy to help. In the early days I think a sling would be a hinderance, getting baby positioned in sling with monitors etc = nightmare. But once baby was jsut being tube fed and in the hospital 'just to grow' then I think they would be of benefit.

Levanna Wed 09-Feb-05 01:41:19

Tigerlillies, my children haven't been born prematurely, but I HTH anyway! I read an interesting article on kangaroo care in a La Leche booklet recently (LLLGB NEWS) I think it was issue number 142 of last year. It had info and resources of info listed IIRC, so might be worth a read?

(BTW, thanks for your help and advice on a wrap when I was trying to work out what to go for a few months ago, I made one in the end, and we all love it! )

Levanna Wed 09-Feb-05 01:46:24

Lots of rescources here . Apologies if you have already seen this!

KateandtheGirls Wed 09-Feb-05 03:08:48

My daughter was born 4 weeks prematurely and was in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit for 3 days. My husband and I were encouraged to hold her as much as possible as soon as she was stable, which was the day after she was born, and of course we were only too happy to do that, and argued about whose turn it was! I can't see how slings would have helped because A) she had wires all over her body, and B) we wanted to hold her ourselves.

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