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A NEWBORN baby girl was found abandoned on a family's doorstep in Huddersfield today.

A NEWBORN baby girl was found abandoned on a family's doorstep in Huddersfield today.

Joanne Stephanie (Abandoned baby at HRI) 158

The baby, wrapped up in a bundle of blankets, was left outside a house in Alder Street, Fartown - only hours after she was born.

The baby girl - named Joanne Stephanie after paramedics Joanne and Stephen who took her to the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary - has been described as healthy.

Police mounted a major search for the baby's mother and confirmed at 11.30am that she had been traced.

The baby was discovered at 7.30am when a family in Alder Street heard a knock at their back door - and discovered the baby left on the doorstep.

Pc Robin Webster, who was called to the house, said: "When they looked out of the door they found some blankets on the doorstep with the newborn baby inside.

"They phoned police and the ambulance service.

"Their curtains had been shut, so they did not see anybody."

He added: "The baby is white and had its umbilical cord cut and clamped with a clothes peg."

The baby was found wrapped in bedding, a towel and an orange blanket.

Baby Joanne arrived at the Infirmary's Special Care Baby Unit where she is now being cared for.

She weighs a healthy 7lbs 4oz. Nurses said she was probably breast-fed before she was left in Alder Street.

Midwife Karen Stansfield said that Joanne had already had many offers from staff wanting to look after her.

She added: "She is absolutely beautiful.

"We have run general health checks on her and she is fine. She is a decent, full-term size and we think she was born after midnight.

"The cord was cut and clamped. If it had not been, the baby could have bled through it."

Joanne will remain at the hospital for a few days to be cared for by staff.

Heather McNair, associate director of nursing at the Royal Infirmary, said she could not remember ever having to look after an abandoned baby at the Infirmary before.

Police do not yet know why the baby was left where it was, but guess it could have been because the house lights were on.

Neighbours in Alder Street were concerned for the baby's mother.

Alfred Emmett lives across the road from where the baby was found. He saw the ambulance draw up outside the house.

"I saw the paramedics carry away a bundle and I assumed it was a small child from the house who was ill," he said.

"I did not realise it had been abandoned. I didn't see who left the baby."

Another neighbour, Joanne Oates, said: "It is very sad for the mother. She has obviously got no-one to turn to.

"She could have left it on my doorstep. I have had five of my own, but I would have looked after her."

Police dogs had been used to search the area in the hunt for clues.

A police spokesman said: "Following a call from a member of the public the police have managed to trace the mother of the baby which was abandoned in Huddersfield this morning.

"She is safe and well.

"We do not have an age for her at this time but she is a local woman.

"She is currently receiving medical attention and will be spoken to by Huddersfield police officers later today."

Det Chief Insp Ian Wilson, of Huddersfield CID, said earlier: "Our main concern is for the mother's health.

"She will be treated very sympathetically as she may well be upset and traumatised."


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