It can be very distressing to be told when you’re pregnant that your baby is likely to be born prematurely (too early). However there are lots of things you can do as a parent to help care for your baby and which evidence has shown can make a real difference to their health and wellbeing.
As a parent you can participate in your baby’s care at the earliest opportunity, including:
- Regular skin-to-skin care/kangaroo care
- Providing and feeding breast milk to your baby, for example, through expressing
- Providing comforting touch and comfort holding
- Day-to-day care such as nappy changing or bathing your baby.
To find out more about how you being involved in your baby's care can help them grow to be healthy and strong click on Being at the heart of your baby’s care.
Seeing how other parents have coped in a similar situation can be comforting and seeing them get involved in their baby's care in the above ways can help you feel more confident to get involved in your own baby’s care once they are born. Best Beginnings have produced the Small Wonders DVD to help parents in your situation. The DVD contains 12 films which follow 14 parents on their journey across the neonatal unit from birth to first contact with their baby and beyond.
Below are two clips taken from the Small Wonders DVD, the first one shows a mother having kangaroo care with her baby for the first time and the second shows how mothers can express breastmilk when on the neonatal unit in order to feed their baby. You can watch Small Wonders online or read on to find out how you can receive your own Small Wonders DVD.
We aim for every parent of a sick and premature baby in the UK to receive their own copy of the Small Wonders DVD and it's accompanying supporting booklet. Most hospitals have the DVDs to distribute to families (free of charge) who may be at risk of having a premature baby so please do ask hospital staff for a copy. You can see if your hospital has the Small Wonders DVDs available by clicking here. The Small Wonders films address sensitive situations and not all the films will be suitable at this time, please ask hospital staff for advise on this.
Alternatively if you are not the parent of a sick or premature baby but would be interested in obtaining a copy of the DVD please visit our online shop.
Best Beginnings is committed to working collaboratively with organisations to ensure that families receive the best possible support. For more information and support regarding premature and sick babies you may wish to visit the Bliss website at the link below or call their Family Support Helpline for free on 0500 618140.