A new service is helping to keep parents together with their new babies even if the child requires a little extra neonatal care.
The Transitional Care initiative, set up following the launch of the Scottish Government’s Best Start maternity and Neonatal Strategy, has been running successfully for a year at Forth Valley Royal Hospital.
Transitional Care offers support to babies who have additional care needs that would previously have been admitted to the Neonatal Unit. This includes babies who find it difficult to suck and require nasogastric tube feeds, babies with lower birth weights and babies who arrive a little early.
Having access to this service helps support stronger bonding as the babies no longer require to be separated from their mothers while having care and lays the foundation for future relationships.
The service has led to a 20 per cent reduction in the number of babies who require to be admitted to the Neonatal Unit.
NHS Forth Valley department manager/senior midwife Kirsty MacInnes said: “The staff in the Neonatal Unit, Labour Suite and Postnatal Ward, have all come together to make this new service a success. All the staff groups have worked so hard to keep families together.
“Local parents, neonatal and midwifery staff work together to produce a treatment plan, which supports family centred care and ensures parents are fully involved in the care of their baby.
“Some babies who have been admitted to the Neonatal Unit can also be transferred to Transitional Care to be cared for by parents within our Postnatal Ward prior to going home.”