Great Britain

Bradford mum tells of premature baby born at height of Covid

A MUM from Idle has told of her "lucky" baby Jacob, who was born 11 weeks premature at the height of the cornonavirus pandemic.

The youngster, Jacob Jones, is now six months old and is "happy and healthy" after being born at Bradford Royal Infirmary in April.

Jacob's story received national attention when his birth to mum Katie Mahon was featured on BBC One's Panorama in early August.

Katie's was one of three lockdown births featured on the show, with Jacob's delivery being the only neo-natal birth.

Jacob, whose due date was June 27, was born 11 weeks premature on April 9.

And Jacob's birth, in addition to being premature, was far from routine due to all the regulations in place because of coronavirus.

Katie said: "The only reason they detected it was because I had to go in for my 28-week scan.

"I had a swollen face and I wanted to get checked for pre-eclampsia.

"Otherwise I might not have gone to hospital. I was frightened of catching coronavirus.

"I was also upset about going in by myself because I suffer from anxiety."

Because she had pre-eclampsia, doctors determined quickly that Katie needed to deliver her baby.

After he was born by caesarian, the nurses and doctors immediately put Jacob in intensive care.

Katie and her partner Lee Jones had to wait five hours before they could see their newborn baby, a wait that Katie described as extremely difficult.

"It was extremely difficult and awful not knowing," said Katie.

Because of the adrenalin she had at the time, the gravity of the situation did not hit her until a fortnight later.

"It wasn't until two weeks later that I realised how lucky we were.

"There are some babies on the ward that were born earlier than Jacob."

Because he was so premature, Katie said that Jacob was in intensive care for five weeks.

After spending four days in hospital, Katie was discharged but said she and Lee were fortunate to be able to visit their baby every day.

It was not until Jacob was discharged that the rest of his family could see him.

Katie said: "It was hard because both set of grandparents didn't get to see Jacob until he was released from hospital on July."

"Jacob is now six months old," said Katie. "He still a bit teeny but he's doing really well.

"He's happy and healthy. We're lucky to have him.

"It was my first experience of pregnancy, but obviously it was all different because of Covid."

Having spent a total of 13 weeks on the neonatal ward, Katie was very happy with the care Jacob received and she recently had the opportunity to give back.

She said: "Last week, with the help of Mel Sherriden, the community champion at Morrisons' Enterprise 5 store, we went to the neonatal ward with a donation.

"Morrisons donated a van full of bedding, cups, blankets, cushions, nappies and biscuits to make the parent rooms more homely."

Bloomin' Buds, the theatre group where Katie is artistic director, put together 50 activity packs with written lullabies by musician Claire Seddon for the families to sing to their babies.

Katie said: "It was magical day and a real positive of community coming together during lockdown."

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