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Princess of Wales cradles newborn baby on visit to hospital maternity unit in Surrey
5 October 2022, 17:39 | Updated: 5 October 2022, 18:01
The Princess of Wales has been pictured cradling a premature baby at a hospital maternity unit, in her first solo appearance since receiving the title from King Charles III.
The princess spoke to new mum Sylvia Novak, who who gave birth to her daughter Bianca six weeks prematurely, and was pictured cradling the newborn.
When asked by the baby's mother if she'd like to hold her, Kate replied: “Am I allowed to?” before a staff member helped the mum pass the child to the royal.
Kate, who was wearing a yellow dress and a face mask said the baby was "very sweet".
The 40-year-old was visiting Guildford's Royal Surrey County Hospital to hear about the holistic support it offers to new and expectant mums.
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Its maternity unit delivers and cares for about 3,000 babies a year, and was given a UNICEF baby friendly initiative gold award this year in recognition of its outstanding work on infant-feeding and parent-child relationships.
She had a tour of the site's special care baby unit (SCBU) which provides specialist neonatal care for tiny and premature babies.
During the visit, she met a family who been given help to bond with their baby, and a mother who was supported by the the institution's Jasmine Team, which works with women who are affected by mental health conditions during pregnancy and after giving birth.
All three of Kate's children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, were born at the private Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London.
The senior royal is passionate about supporting the mental health of mothers, and recently became patron of the UK charity Maternal Mental Health Alliance.