A Parent’s embrace: a powerful therapy for babies who “rush” into this world
Let`s enable skin-to-skin contact from the moment of birth
Belgrade, 17 November 2022 – Today we mark the World Prematurity Day that aims to raise awareness of the challenges of preterm birth and shine a light on the consequences faced by preterm infants and their families.
In Serbia about 62,000 babies are born every year, out of which 4,000 “rush“ into this world. This means that between 4,000 and 8,000 parents find themselves in their parental role earlier than expected every year and therefore need support.
Skin-to-skin contact between the baby and the parents from the first day, in addition to reducing the risk of neonatal mortality by as much as 40%, is crucial for the babies to feel protected, to know the smell of their parents, to listen to their soothing heartbeats, to bond with their parents, which helps them develop better and establish all the necessary vital functions.
From the moment of birth, skin-to-skin care helps the whole family recover more quickly from the shock of baby`s premature birth. In this way, the mother can more easily establish and persist in breastfeeding, which is healing for both the baby and the mother. Babies equally need that kind of contact with dads and moms. This approach helps parents take their role in caring for their baby also in the moments when the baby needs intensive health care.
Despite the benefits of skin-to-skin care for preterm and low birth weight infants, implementation of this practice in intensive care units has been a persistent challenge globally, including Serbia. Even in emergency situations, such as epidemics, regardless of whether the baby was born prematurely or is sick, we need to create the conditions for this early contact.
In order to answer the most common questions and concerns of parents of premature children, on the 30th of November, starting at 6 p.m. the UNICEF School of Parenting will hold a webinar "When a Baby Rushes into the World" on the UNICEF Serbia YouTube channel.
The speakers will be Prim. dr. Radmila Mileusnic Milenovic, paediatrician - neonatologist, acting director of the Institute of Neonatology, Vukasin Cobeljic, psychologist, University Children's Clinic "Tirsova", Vera Bikicki Ivezic, mother, representative of the organization "Mali Div". The webinar will moderated by Kalina Kovacevic, mother and actress. Sign up for the webinar at the following registration link.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/serbia