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The baby's coming, make it double!

Parents Adam and Lara McDonald with baby Cooper are fans of the Emerald Hospital innovation that allows dads to have a sleepover in the maternity ward.
Parents Adam and Lara McDonald with baby Cooper are fans of the Emerald Hospital innovation that allows dads to have a sleepover in the maternity ward.

LARA and Adam McDonald were just one of the happy couples to welcome a little bundle of joy last week, but they were also lucky enough to test run the revamped room at the Emerald Hospital.

With the latest addition to the hospital, mums and dads can enjoy the first few nights with bub together in the refurbished room complete with a hospital-grade double bed.

The couple was thrilled they had the opportunity to use the new facility after the birth of their son Cooper, and said as first-time parents it made the experience all the more exciting and comfortable.

"It has made it so much better that Adam has been able to stay with me because he has been able to help out so much and he's not missing out on any of those special moments," Lara said.

"The bed is great as, while it's a double, you can also move each side up and down independently, so while I might need to nurse the baby, Adam can have a bit of a rest.

"I was really happy we were able to get the room because Cooper is our first child and I really needed Adam's support."

Adam said the new room had also been a bonus because his and Lara's parents live on the Sunshine Coast and Gympie.

"It's just been nice for us to stay together the whole time and give each other the support," he said.

Maternity unit manager Donna Milburn said the new room had proven popular with both families and staff.

"Fathers are now able to stay to support their partners while they prepare to take their new baby home from hospital," she said.

"The accommodation of partners plays a significant role in promoting confidence in parenting skills at a time when it can feel quite overwhelming to both new parents and those taking home a new sibling.

"By optimising the partner's presence we hope both parents will leave hospital with their new baby feeling better equipped to face the challenges ahead."

The makeover was a team effort by Ms Milburn, midwife Gayle Rafferty and administration officer Karen Dowling who sewed and installed the curtains, donated some soft furnishings and decorated the room in warm and inviting tones.


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