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Mothers with diabetes parted from newborns

Mothers with diabetes are being separated from their newborn babies, according to findings out today.

The Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health (CEMACH) claims that over half of newborn babies whose mothers have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes are automatically moved to a special care baby unit.

This has negative impacts, the report warns. It says breastfeeding becomes difficult because infant formula is used and says newborns' body temperature becomes harder to regulate as a result.

CEMACH chief executive Richard Congdon said: "More babies could stay with their mothers than is now the case and mothers with diabetes should be encouraged and supported to breastfeed their babies. If these aims were achieved, it should be better both for mother and baby and also save the NHS money.”

Jemma Edwards, Care Advisor at Diabetes UK, added: “All mothers should have the same access to high quality antenatal care, regardless of whether or not they have diabetes.

“Skin to skin contact with your baby as soon as possible after birth and breast feeding within the first hour are important to ensure that your baby has the best possible start in life.

“Unless there is a specific reason for mum and baby to be separated, mothers with diabetes should be allowed the same time with their child as any other woman.”

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