A mother has revealed how her touch helped her premature baby survive the odds in intensive care.
Baby Georgina weighed only 975 grams when she was born at The Royal Hospital in Randwick, Sydney.
At 32 weeks, mother Jodie Harris held her newborn baby in her chest for a "kangaroo hug."
Covered with a life support team and confined to an incubator, Ms. Harris was afraid to pick up her newborn because she was very fragile.
Baby Georgina (pictured) weighed only 975 grams when she was born at The Royal Hospital in Randwick.
I was afraid to touch her; Georgia was small and covered with cables, and the idea of groping and lifting her ass was too much, "Mrs. Harris told the Sydney Morning Herald.
When the mother took her to her chest to embrace her, her fears disappeared.
"As soon as she felt me, she stopped crying and curled up in her fetal position, she only knows the voices, the heartbeat, and that's what they need to grow, not just nutrients, but love."
Patients in the Intensive Care Unit for Newborns at Royal Hospital for Women are urged to care for their premature baby in ways generally reserved for nurses.
Even the smallest babies are washed, changed and weighed by their mothers in an emerging care program called Family Integrated Care (FIC).
Parents are also feeding their babies with small syringes and taking their temperature.
Professor Kei Lui, who implemented FIC at the hospital, said that under this model of care, premature babies are taking an average of two grams.
"We want to be in our little bubble, just relaxing on the couch": Jodie Harris (left) and her husband Kevin (right) were able to take their baby home with 2.5 kilograms
"Traditionally, the parents were spectators, they did not touch them too often because of the germs, they looked at their baby lying in the greenhouse, but now we know that involving them is good for everyone," Professor Kei Lui told the newspaper.
After three months of intensive care and invasive procedures to repair the baby's esophagus, Georgina returned home with 2.5 kilograms.
"We want to be in our little bubble, just relaxing on the couch," said Ms. Harris.