A FIRST time mum is urging others to 'trust their instincts' as her baby daughter was born at just 28 weeks after she noticed reduced movements.

Olivia Wilcock, from Orford, noticed her baby started moving less at the end of September but her due date was not until December 16.

She knew something was not right and decided to go to Warrington Hospital straightaway.

The 30-year-old said: "I asked friends and family whether it was normal because I hadn't been able to feel her.

"They advised having a cold drink or doing start jumps but nothing was working.

"I just decided to trust my gut and go straight to hospital.

"They took some tests but couldn't scan me there and then.

Warrington Guardian: Freya weighed just 729 grams when she was born at 28 weeksFreya weighed just 729 grams when she was born at 28 weeks

"I told them I had an appointment later on in the week anyway, but they insisted I went back in first thing the next day.

"It was quite a traumatic time, they took us into a counselling room and said they would have to deliver Freya as she was not getting enough oxygen.

"We asked if she would be okay but they told us it depended on how Freya could cope but that they would do everything in their power to help her."

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Olivia was monitored around the clock and given steroids to help Freya's lungs.

Six days after initially presenting herself at hospital, she was taken for an emergency caesarean and Freya was delivered weighing just 1lb 9 oz.

Olivia added: "She was so tiny, they put her in a little bag to keep her warm and then she was transferred to Arrowe Park Hospital in Birkenhead because she was too small for the neonatal unit.

"She fitted in the palm of my hand - it was touch and go."

The family spent three weeks on the intensive care unit at Arrowe Park with Olivia staying at the Ronald Mcdonald facility before being transferred back to Warrington Hospital.

Freya spent the next two months on the neonatal unit where she received 'amazing care' from staff.

Warrington Guardian: Freya is now back home in Orford but remains on oxygenFreya is now back home in Orford but remains on oxygen

Olivia said: "We spent 11 weeks in the two hospitals and I cannot thank the neonatal unit at Warrington Hospital enough for saving our beautiful girl.

"I was only 28 weeks pregnant and they told me if I had not come to the hospital our little girl would not have survived until my next appointment later in the week."

Freya is now almost five months old and was able to go home just before Christmas.

She weighs 8 lb and could remain on oxygen until she is two years old.

Olivia said: "I wanted to raise awareness for premature babies and to encourage other women to trust your instincts if you feel like something isn’t quite right.

"If I hadn’t of done our little girl wouldn’t be with us now."