Let Moe and Sarah Haider Meet Their Baby

Let Moe and Sarah Haider Meet Their Baby

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The Queensland government has for the last week been preventing first-time parents Moe and Sarah Haider from meeting their newborn son Ilyas. 

Days into their 14-day hotel quarantine after returning to Australia from Qatar, "Ms Haider’s 30-week scan revealed complications with her pregnancy and that she would need a C-section within days. That day came on June 1, before dawn."

"Mr Haider requested to be with his wife for the birth, but he was not allowed out of hotel quarantine and into the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital until the following day."

"Mr Haider said his wife had not set eyes on their baby, Ilyas, either because doctors whisked the newborn away before removing the curtain that concealed her line of sight from the C-section operation."

Both parents are fully vaccinated, which dramatically reduces the chance of carrying COVID-19. On top of this, both have tested negative multiple times while in quarantine. 

Despite this, their pleas to the Queensland government to be allowed to be with their son have fallen on deaf ears. Their final appeal has been rejected by Queensland’s Chief Health Officer, Jeannette Young. According to the Brisbane Times, the email denying their application provided no explanation for the decision.

The decision of the Queensland health authorities is not only heartless, it is actively harmful. Skin-to-skin contact, also known as kangaroo care, is when a newborn baby is placed on the bare chest of his or her parent. The benefits of skin-to-skin contact are widely known and practised in Australian hospitals. Just last year, researchers at Monash University published a study showing kangaroo care significantly improved blood flow to the brain and heart function, adding to existing research showing a wide swathe of benefits.

The Queensland government should overturn its previous decisions, let the Haider's see their son immediately, and apologise for the cruelty they have subjected them to since his birth.

Sources:
(1) https://amp.theage.com.au/national/qld-rejects-melbourne-couple-s-plea-for-early-quarantine-release-to-meet-newborn-20210607-p57yvj.html
(2) https://www.monash.edu/news/articles/skin-to-skin-kangaroo-care-shows-important-benefits-for-premature-babies
(3) https://www.rch.org.au/uploadedFiles/Main/Content/rchcpg/hospital_clinical_guideline_index/Skin%20to%20Skin%20Evidence%20table.pdf

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