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It’s a moving place that hits you when you are not waiting. Newborns are even smaller, undefended. Parents are unquiet and machines sound their beeps. The most remembered feeling, for who was there on their first or last child, is impotence. Life is an incredible fight in tiny hands.
Everything happens in the Alfredo da Costa Maternity Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (MAC). It is the first home where some babies spend their first three months, before they go to their real homes. In MAC, in Lisbon, Portugal, every year 6000 babies are born, about 6% of all country’s births. About 150 of newborns in MAC weight less than 1500 grams. Since 2007 this unit is part of UNICEF’s “Baby-friendly hospitals”, an initiative where promoting breast-feeding is a golden rule.
Meanwhile, the fate of the maternity-hospital is suspended as the portuguese economic crisis is pushing the Government to close the oldest working unit in Portugal.