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Breast-feed tiny babies - guidance

Wednesday October 13th, 2010

Transfer of tiny babies to and from specialist neonatal care must be "safe and efficient", according to UK guidelines published today.

And mothers should be encouraged to start breast-feeding and continue with it and also to express milk, according to the new quality standards issued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.

Hospitals should also monitor the health outcomes of babies receiving specialist neonatal care, according to the standards.

Dr Fergus Macbeth, of NICE, said it set out to define what "excellent specialist" neonatal care should look like.

The new standards are backed by a range of professional organisations involved in baby care.

Dr Bryan Gill, of the British Association of Perinatal Medicine, said: "It will help improve the levels of neonatal care across England, and ensure that babies and their families are receiving the very best, evidence-based services, appropriate for their needs."

Jane Munro, of the Royal College of Midwives, said: "Babies in need of specialist neonatal services require expert care, and this standard will ensure that best practice is shared amongst those delivering these services."

David Richmond, of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said: "Neonatal care is a highly specialised area; therefore it is very important that there are the appropriate standards in place for those delivering these services to babies.

"The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists welcomes these standards, and was delighted to be involved in their development."

Tags: Child Health | Childbirth and Pregnancy | UK News | Women’s Health & Gynaecology

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