Are we prioritising “precious” babies?

IVF is an extremely stressful treatment, that if successful can result in a healthy, happy baby. But it is also fraught with the possibility of complications- such as prematurity.

And for parents who have been through IVF and had an extremely premature baby (aged between 23-25 weeks), the desperation to have a child can become overwhelming. These babies are known in neonatal units as “precious babies.”

Janet GreenĀ is a registered nurse and senior lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney. She has recently looked at how nurses perceive precious babies. The nurses reported stories of parents who had been through multiple rounds of IVF and were going to all lengths to save their baby.

But what is it actually like to be a parent in this situation? And how do we grapple with the ethical dillemas of saving these tiny babies? Ellen Leabeater explores the issue.

If this report has raised any issues, please call Life’s Little Treasures on 1300 697 736.

UPDATE: “The staff never talk about precious babies in front of parents – it is secret nursing and medical staff business.” -Janet Green


Janet Green – Registered nurse and Senior Lecturer, University of Technology Sydney

Shusannah Morris – CEO and founder, Life’s Little Treasures & mother to a 12 year old born at 25 weeks

Francesca Minerva – Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Ghent

Image: Sarah Hopkins on Flickr.


You may also like