A couple are urging members of the public to support a unique family bonding scheme after it helped them to cope when their newly born son underwent life-saving emergency treatment.
Cerrianne Javes, aged 34, and her husband, Kris, aged 36, told of the “harrowing” moment their son Charley briefly stopped breathing after birth and needed specialist care at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Jessop Wing in Sheffield.
Cerrianne said she found it hard as she “hadn’t held him or smelt him” for a few days but then one of the nurses offered them a ‘bonding heart’ - a piece of fabric given to both parents and babies receiving specialist care as a way of building a mutual bond between them.
She said: “Just this small piece of fabric felt like a life line and felt like a way of being close to him. Charley is now six months old and he came home in March.”
Hospital bosses say swapping the fabric regularly can help to get mums, dads and babies used to each other’s scent during the difficult days and weeks when they are unable to hold or cuddle each other.
Specialists also claim the extra bonding can help to produce the hormones needed to aid breastfeeding.
Members of the public are now being urged to make a bonding heart and donate it to the Sheffield Hospitals Charity so even more parents and their babies can take advantage of the scheme.
They should be made with soft 100 per cent cotton fabric, double sided and about 20cm long. They can be posted with your contact details or dropped off at Sheffield Hospitals Charity, Fulwood House, 5 Old Fulwood Road, Sheffield, S10 3TG.