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Mother says cuddles saved the child’s life after doctors suggested that ‘skin-to-skin’ hugs may help the newborn survive

(Image: MERCURY PRESS)

The 33-year-old mother, whose baby was born prematurely at just 23 weeks and spent the first five months of her life fighting for survival, claims that cuddling saved her daughter’s life after doctors suggested that skin-to-skin hugs care may help the infant survive. The 6-month-old baby girl is now at home with her family after reportedly spending her first five months fighting for her life in the hospital.

Elsie, the newborn baby of 33-year-old Amy Dutton, was born at just 23 weeks and weighed 1 lb 4 oz, according to the mother, the Mirror reports. Sadly, Elsie’s twin passed away while still in the womb. The poor mother was only able to hold her child for 30 seconds before being placed in an incubator. Elsie had surgery to fix a hole in her colon when she was just 10 days old. Before doctors advised the mother to hold her child for three to four hours each day, the child spent 30 days in the incubator.

During an interview with The Sun, the 33-year-old mother reportedly said: “The first time I held Elsie properly was amazing, I’ve never known anything like it. There’s no other feeling in the world that compares. I’d hold her and I could see on all the monitors her heart rate was relaxing. It’s crazy to think that my cuddling her was having such an impact, it saved her life. 

It was good for me too, ­because being able to hold her also helped bring down my stress levels. Losing Dotty (Elsie’s twin) was really difficult because it was before 24 weeks I was never able to register her as a stillborn, she was classed as a miscarriage. That meant I wasn’t able to put on Elsie’s birth certificate that she was a twin either.”

According to The Sun, the 33-year-old mother was originally having twins, but she was found with twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, in which one baby receives all the nutrients. When doctors attempted to separate the young woman’s twins in December 2021, she went into early labor. At first, the doctors believed that the endoscopic laser ablation had gone smoothly. But regrettably, the expectant mother soon began bleeding heavily and required three blood transfusions.

Elsie was born on December 2, 2021. Amy’s 34-year-old husband Scott was informed by the doctors that she might not make it. The family was informed by the hospital staff last month that the infant is healthy enough to return home.

The 33-year-old mom from the U.K. also told The Sun: “Bringing her home for the first time was honestly amazing. I almost didn’t think it was real, the day felt like a dream come true. I’ve never felt such a relief as when we got to walk out of the hospital and take Elsie home. It’s so surreal to hold your baby and think about how you could have lost her. Having her home after all that uncertainty was just bliss.

She’s defied all the odds, she’s just amazing. Just before we left, our doctor told me Elsie was the first baby she intubated that had survived. To think she’s overcome that and come away with no issues, we’re so incredibly lucky.”

The clinical director of children’s services, Dr. Francis, told The Mirror that ‘kangaroo care’ had made a huge difference for premature babies like Elsie. “When babies like Elsie are born prematurely, clinical intervention is key but parent’s involvement also has a hugely positive effect. When mothers hold their babies in their arms for a long time, as they do with kangaroo care, stress for both mother and baby is reduced and we see improved short- and long-term outcomes.” Dr. Francis reportedly said.

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