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I'm worried - what can I do?

12 October 2016

Watching your baby fight an illness can be worrying and upsetting. We often hear that parents of babies born premature or sick spend a lot of time worrying about their baby catching an infectious illness. This is because premature and sick babies are more vulnerable to complications from conditions such as a cold. Often, this can be the most worrying part of taking your baby home from the neonatal unit, where they have been more protected.

As a parent, you can only do so much to protect your baby from infections in the outside world. By being prepared, and by following our tips on reducing the risk of infections, you can help protect your baby. It’s also important to remember that it is part of their development to build up a healthy immunity to common infections.

When to call your GP

We have included information about when to call your GP for the conditions mentioned in this information. However as a general rule, you should always speak to your GP or health visitor if you are worried about your baby’s health. You should never worry about wasting their time. Here are some symptoms which you should not ignore:

As a parent, you know your baby better than anyone. You may feel something is not right, but may not be able to explain fully what the problem is. You should listen to your gut feeling and if you feel something is wrong with your baby for more than a few days, you should always speak to your GP.

In general, healthcare professionals would much rather you checked with them if you are worried about your baby, particularly if they are more vulnerable to serious conditions. If in doubt, it is always best to check.

If you have a community neonatal nurse, or family care nurse, they can provide support once you have been discharged from the unit and are adjusting to life at home with your baby.

Who can help?

  • Your GP or health visitor
  • Your community neonatal nurse, or family care nurse
  • Your neonatal unit
  • Your neonatal or paediatric consultant (if your baby has been discharged and visits a clinic)
  • Pharmacists
  • NHS 111
  • 999 in an emergency

Next: References

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