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Helping newborn babies this Mother’s Day

Amy and Sonny

Amy Foster is one of many new Mums celebrating their first Mother’s Day this year, made all the more special now that Sonny is home after spending a month in the Special Care Nursery at Frankston Hospital.

“Sonny was teeny tiny – he was only 1762 grams (3 pound, 8 ounces) when he was born,” explains Amy.

“He was born at 34 weeks but he was only 31 weeks in size – so he has had a bit of catching up to do.”

The first few weeks of Sonny’s life were challenging for the family – Amy spent two weeks on the Maternity Ward recovering from pre-eclampsia and Sonny was in the Special Care Nursery.

It was here Sonny was diagnosed with jaundice. If jaundice is not identified and treated quickly in newborns, it can lead to liver damage and in the worst cases, brain damage.

This Mother’s Day, Peninsula Health is raising funds to buy ten Transcutaneous Bilirubinometers. These machines are placed gently on the baby’s skin and detect jaundice instantly, meaning babies no longer have to have a painful heel prick test and parents don’t need to wait for test results.

“The machine is quick – babies can get started on the treatment they need straight away. When you’re talking about premature babies or a newborn, everything needs to happen quickly.” Amy says.

The Transcutaneous Bilirubinometers (TCB) would also be used by the Peninsula Health Midwifery Home Care Service, which cares for women and babies in the community.

“If you have had a caesarean and can’t drive, how do you get your baby to hospital to have the test?” asks Amy.

The new Mum agrees the TCB machines will make a big difference to Mums and babies both at home and in hospital.

Sonny has now overcome his jaundice and done a lot of growing.

“He only had to spend one day and a half under lights then he was re-tested for jaundice didn’t need any further treatment,” explains Amy.

“In the Special Care Nursery he started in an isolette then moved to a cot, learned to breastfeed and cracked the 2kg weight mark!”

He is now at home in Rye with his parents, their puppy dogs and horse.

 “The Special Care Nursery was amazing, the staff were all so good and even though it was hard to leave him at night, I knew he was in the best place,” says Amy.

“We have this awesome healthcare here and we need to support it.”

Please help us support our tiniest patients this Mother’s Day.

Call 9788 1284 or visit www.peninsulahealth.org.au/donate to make a donation.