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Parent-to-parent: Supporting your partner

Dad and mum beside incubator

We're celebrating 10 years of Little Bliss magazine with an extra special anniversary edition. Read one of our favourite features: parent-to-parent advice. 

Being a parent of a premature or sick baby on the neonatal unit is an emotional rollercoaster.

Sometimes, you may wonder what to do, how to feel and how to handle it all. Here, parents tell us what their partner did or could have done to help them feel supported:


"Both parents are going to feel strong emotions that can be hard to handle, so it's important to give each other the time to feel those emotions and not overanalyse each other's words and reactions to different situations. Allow your partner to feel what they need to feel."

Dad, daughter born at 27 weeks

Acknowledge the good times

"It's important for both of you to find a positive and focus on small improvements such as weight gain or a reduction in oxygen requirements. It's okay to feel happy and laugh at something funny (for instance, nappy explosions!) Staying positive is key.

Mum, daughter born full term but sick

Mum and dad with baby

Make an effort

“My husband hates hospitals. However, he pushed through the phobia and came each day to care for our daughter. When I became too ill to be there he took the day off work and went to the unit in my place.”

Angie, daughter born at 23 weeks


"Talk to each other about anything and everything. Pay attention to your partner. If they are quiet, say 'talk to me' and allow them to feel what they need to feel."

Sarah K, daughter born full term but sick

Mum and dad in hospital with incubator

Acknowledge the good times

"Document your baby's journey through photos and a diary so you can look back at how far they have come. It keeps you and your partner optimistic in the process."

Mums, Laura and Anna

Make an effort

"I wish my husband would have text me during the day to check in on me and the baby when he was at work, or made me a lunch when preparing his. I just needed some acknowledgement or a hug. These gestures would have helped immensely, both physically and emotionally."

Mum, daughter born at 30 weeks

Little Bliss magazine is packed with real stories dealing with life on a neonatal unit and beyond, advice from other parents and health professionals, all the latest news from Bliss and lots of ways that you can get involved and support premature and sick babies and their families.


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