Monitored: Little Archie Toby demonstrates his motor skills to early childhood development specialist Anne Vimpani, watched by parents Mitch and Lisa Toby.
Monitored: Little Archie Toby demonstrates his motor skills to early childhood development specialist Anne Vimpani, watched by parents Mitch and Lisa Toby. Trevor Veale

Coffs babies get best care

PREMATURE babies on the Coffs Coast have some of the best follow-up care available thanks to a combined project between health and childhood development agencies in Coffs Harbour and Newcastle.

A team from John Hunter Hospital’s neonatal unit is at the Coffs Harbour Early Intervention Centre assessing, testing and following-up babies born after less than 29 weeks of pregnancy. Normal pregnancy lasts for 40 weeks.

John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle has the State’s largest neonatal unit and Coffs Coast mothers at risk of a premature birth are generally transferred to that hospital.

The team, which includes neonatologist Dr Paul Craven; development specialist Dr Anne Vimpani; clinical nurse consultant Susanne Wooderson; and research nurse Jane Buchan, is on its second visit to Coffs Harbour this year, where it is based at the Coffs Harbour Early Intervention Centre.

The director of the Early Intervention Centre, early childhood special educator Joy Leach, and physiotherapist Sue Martyn also provide a ‘gumnut service’ for local babies born at less than 30 weeks, which involves a monitoring program for the babies and support for the mothers, in addition to the normal baby health clinics and paediatricians visits.



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