When a baby is born premature or sick and needs to spend time in hospital, the care they receive is vital to determining their future health.
It is important parents are supported to provide hands-on care for their babies during their time in hospital, but many parents tell us they do not know how they can be involved when their baby is in incubator or has lots of tubes and wires.
Many say this makes them feel helpless, distressed and in some cases, prevents them bonding fully with their baby. This can also have a big impact on babies - but it doesn’t have to.
The below infographic has been designed to support the delivery of family-centred care, a pioneering approach which is proven to have better outcomes for babies. It has also been shown to reduce the likelihood of mothers suffering from post-natal mental health conditions, which are much more prevalent among mothers whose baby has had a neonatal stay.
Bliss champions this type of care and supports health professionals to deliver it through the Bliss baby charter.
1. POPPY Steering Group. Family-centred care in neonatal units. A summary of research results and recommendations from the POPPY project. London: NCT; 2009
2. O’Brien K, Bracht M, Macdonell K, McBride T, Robson K, O’Leary L, Christie K, Galarza M, Dicky T, Levin A, Lee S (2013) ‘A pilot cohort analytic study of Family Integrated Care in a Canadian neonatal intensive care unit,’ BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 13(Suppl 1):S12,
3. Flacking R, Lehtonen L, Thomson G, Axelin A, Ahlqvist S, Hall Moran V, Ewald U, Dykes F. (2012) ‘Closeness and separation in neonatal intensive care,’ Acta Pædiatrica 101:1032–1037
4. Vigod, S.N., Villegas, L., Dennis, C.L., Ross, L.E. (2010) Prevalence and risk factors for postpartum depression among women with preterm and low-birth weight infants: a systematic review, BJOG, 117(5), pp.540-50
5. Hynan, M.T., Steinberg, Z., Baker, L., Cicco, R., Geller, P.A., Lassen, S., Milford, C., Mounts, K.O., Patterson, C., Saxton, S., Serge, L., Stuebe, A.,(2015) ‘Recommendations for mental health professionals in the NICU,’ Journal of Perinatology, 35 S14-S18
6. Kaffashi F, Scher M, Ludington-Hoe S, Loparo K (2013), ‘An analysis of the kangaroo care intervention using neonatal EEG complexity: a preliminary study,’ Clinical Neuro physiology. 124(2):238-46
7. Bonet et al (2013), ‘Neighbourhood, deprivation and very preterm birth in one English and French cohort’ BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 13:97,
8. NHS and Department of Health (2009), Toolkit for High-Quality Neonatal Services, accessed [online] at: https://www.nepho.org.uk/uploads/doc/vid_8769_Toolkit%20for%20high-quality%20Neonatal%20services.pdf Principle 3: Care of the baby and family experience pp.46-50
9. National Maternity Review, (2016), Better births: improving outcomes of maternity services in England: A Five Year Forward View of Maternity care, accessed [online] at:https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/national-maternity-review-report.pdfp.65, section 4.57
10. O’Brien, K., Bracht, M., Macdonell, K., McBride, T., Robson, K., O’Leary, L., Christie, K., Dicky, T., Levin, A., Lee, S.K., A pilot cohort analytic study of Family Integrated Care in a Canadian neonatal intensive care unit. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 13(Suppl 1):S12
11. Gooding, J.S., Cooper, L.G., Blaine A.I., Franck, L.S. Howse, J.L., Berns S.D., (2011) Family support and family-centred care in the neonatal intensive care unit: origins, advances, impact. Seminars in Perinatology, Vol. 35, Issue 1, pp.20-28March of Dimes, PMNCH, Save the Children, WHO. Born Too Soon: The Global Action Report on Preterm Birth. Eds CP Howson, MV Kinney, JE Lawn. World Health Organization. Geneva, 2012.
12. March of Dimes, PMNCH, Save the Children, WHO. Born Too Soon: The Global Action Report on Preterm Birth. Eds CP Howson, MV Kinney, JE Lawn. World Health Organization. Geneva, 2012.
13. March of Dimes Foundation Data Book for Policy Makers. Maternal, Infant and Child Health in the United States 2016. http://www.marchofdimes.org/materials/March-of-Dimes-2016-Databook.pdf
14. Bliss baby Report 2015: hanging in the balance (England). http://www.bliss.org.uk/babyreport
15. Bliss baby report: time for change (Wales) 2016 http://www.bliss.org.uk/call-for-change-wales
16. It’s not a game: the very real costs of having a premature or sick baby. Bliss 2014 http://www.bliss.org.uk/its-not-a-game
17. Parents’ experiences of neonatal care: Findings from Neonatal Survey 2014. Picker Institute Europe, 2014
18. FINE training programme, 2016. http://www.bliss.org.uk/fine