Mater helping premature babies go home sooner

Kristen Meadows with her babies (The Catholic Leader)

Brisbane mother and midwife Kristen Meadows said participating in Mater’s new HOPE program was a “blessing” for her twins Ivy and Ella. Source: The Catholic Leader.

Her girls were born via an emergency caesarean, when she went into labour 13 weeks early at Mater Mothers’ Hospital in South Brisbane.

The HOPE program (Home for Our Patients Earlier) is an early discharge program for Special Care Nursery (SCN) patients, aimed at teaching parents how to look after feeding tubes for their premature babies who are transitioning to go home – helping them to establish an even closer bond with their child.

Ms Meadows, who gave birth in April, said HOPE Program nurses taught her everything she needed to know about caring for Ella and Ivy – allowing her to bring them home at 37 weeks instead of the more common 40-week mark.

“Both the girls came home with feeding tubes, which was so liberating because my partner and I knew we could care for them in the comfort of our own home with no monitors beeping away,” Ms Meadows said.

“For us to be home and together as a family was very beneficial and made things easier.”

The HOPE Program helps parents support their baby in learning to take all feeds via breast or bottle before leaving the hospital.

Mater Mothers’ Neonatal Transfers and Discharges Clinical Services Co-ordinator Beth Thomas said the program helps babies establish oral feeding, and helps sustain and improve breastfeeding practices for patients in the SCN.

Ms Thomas said the HOPE Program aims to decrease time in hospital, lessening the risk of acquiring hospital associated infections and reducing the financial burden on families visiting the SCN daily.


Mater is helping parents like Kristen bring their premature babies home sooner (By Joe Higgins, The Catholic Leader

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