As the 2015 general election draws closer, we want politicians to consider the needs of premature and sick babies and their families. We have heard from countless parents who have had negative experiences and would like to see action. One of these people is mum Stefanie Godson:
“My little girl was born six weeks early in August 2013. The day after she was born, I had to give up my bed in the hospital, forcing me to drive home with my husband every night, leaving my baby a 40 minute drive away. This broke my heart.
We were already short on money as I’d had to start maternity leave early, and paying for hospital parking was an extra drain on our finances that we really didn’t need. I think it's disgusting how parents of sick babies are expected to pay for this.
One day we parked in the wrong bay for more than 30 minutes because we were busy giving my daughter her first bottle feed. The car was the last thing on my mind. Because of this I was charged with a £75 fine.
This, added to the costs of petrol and food for two weeks was extortionate. I would have to drive 40 minutes to see her, drive into town to get food a couple of times a day, and then drive home. Having to struggle for money at a time when I wanted to focus on my sick daughter was truly awful.
I still suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and am terrified to have another child in case we are forced into the same situation again. Mothers of premature and sick babies need more support than anyone could ever imagine, emotionally, physically, mentally and financially.”
It is vital that parents like Stefanie and her husband have the time to bond with and care for their premature or sick baby as it is essential to the baby’s recovery.
You can help these parents by raising the issues with your local election candidates. Make sure that they fully understand the importance of neonatal and support services for the 80,000 special care babies born every year and their families. It is vital that these issues do not slip off the agenda.
Take part in our campaign and email your candidate now.