Neo natal services
A dad pointed to his well-beloved son and said.
“He would not be here if it were not for that hospital”.
Liverpool Women’s Hospital is held in the hearts of many families, similarly grateful for the care of the neo natal unit. The public fund raising for it shows how much it is respected. Liverpool Women’s Hospital cared for 1,091 babies in the neo natal unit.
The report to Liverpool CCG said
“• Current neonatal facility was under size for current and future needs.”
There are problems faced by the neo natal unit
- There is a dire national shortage of neo natal nurses such that not all the beds can be used at present
- New policies mean when each bed is replaced each bed needs more space. There is though no lack of space in Liverpool Women’s hospital. The investment to upgrade this unit is required.
For the health of baby and mother, physical and mental, babies and mothers need to be together. They need to be back together as soon as possible when babies need surgery to save their lives.
Babies born at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital, and those born at other hospitals around the region, are transferred to Alder Hey Hospital for specialist neonatal surgery.
Wherever maternity is located, seriously ill babies will need to be transferred to Alder Hey. Even if maternity was located at Alder Hey, then women would still, in emergency, need to be transferred to adult acute hospitals
Moving the neo natal unit to Alder Hey without the mums would be unacceptable
Why neo natal babies need their mums
Bonding between baby and mother is intensely important for long term mental health and wellbeing of both Mother and Baby. Bonding with other care giving family members matters too.
We use the evidence around mother’s milk to illustrate how mum’s and babies are a linked immediately after birth. There are also hormonal exchanges and stimuli between mother and baby that mirror the more easily measured link to differences in mother’s milk.
New born babies needing support from the neo natal unit need to be near their mums for both the short and long term well being of both. The intense relationship between a new baby and the mum, in whose body the baby grew, is fundamental.
Premature babes need their own mothers milk if possible. Mothers milk for premature babies is different from mother’s milk for full term babies.
The NHS advises “breast milk will help their vulnerable tummy to mature and fight infection. Breast milk is easier for their stomachs to digest than infant formula. It also contains hormones and growth factors that help your baby grow and become stronger.”
La leche league says “The milk produced by the mother of a pre-term infant is higher in protein and other nutrients than the milk produced by the mother of a full term infant. Human milk also contains lipase, an enzyme that allows the baby to digest fat more efficiently
“Mothers of premature babies produce breast milk that is slightly different in composition, at least for the first several weeks, and this difference is designed to meet your baby’s particular needs. The premature milk is higher in protein and minerals, such as salt, and contains different types of fat that she can more easily digest and absorb. The fat in human milk helps to enhance the development of the baby’s brain and neurologic tissues, which is especially important for premature infants. Human milk is easier for her to digest than formula and avoids exposing her immature intestinal lining to the cow’s milk proteins found in premature infant formula. Premature babies who are breastfed are less likely to develop intestinal infections than are babies who are formula-fed. The milk you produce in the first few days contains high concentrations of antibodies to help your baby fight infection. Even if your baby cannot breastfeed yet, expressing breast milk from the beginning will ensure that your milk supply is maintained until your baby is able to nurse.” https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/breastfeeding/Pages/Providing-Breastmilk-for-Premature-and-Ill-Newborns.aspx
This is the quote from the engagement documents..
“Staff would need to be used differently i.e. Level 2 High
Dependency Units should be co-located with Level 3 Intensive
Care Units” from report to CCG
There is though already a high dependency level 3 intensive care for babies in the Hospital. It is already co-located
We call for an upgrade on the neo natal unit at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital, and for improvements nationally and locally in recruitment and training nationally of neo natal nurses.