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Touch cuts distress for premature babies

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Premature babies have better outcomes if they experience gentle physical touch from their mothers in the first weeks of their life, according to nurse-led research.

Premature babies have better outcomes if they experience gentle physical touch from their mothers in the first weeks of their life, according to nurse-led research.

A study by former nurse and now solicitor for Weightmans Sonia Appleton compared a group of premature babies who were given physical reassurance by their mothers and a group who were not.

Twenty infants born between nine and 12 weeks early were filmed constantly for 24 hours on three occasions during their first two weeks of life at a neonatal care unit at Tameside and Glossop Acute Services NHS Trust.

The study shows babies who are reassured physically by their mothers placing a palm across the baby's abdomen and or head show less distressedbehaviour than those that have no such contact..

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