Full term focus: Bliss’ campaign to highlight #HiddenNeonatalJourneys

Posted on February 09, 2021

At the end of 2020, Bliss surveyed over 500 parents of full term babies about their experience of neonatal care. Two points were clear from the answers we received: every neonatal journey is different, and parents of full term babies who need neonatal care need better support, whatever their journey looks like. We’re raising awareness of these experiences with a campaign that highlights #HiddenNeonatalJourneys.

Just over 60 per cent of babies admitted to neonatal care in the UK are born at full term (at 37 weeks’ gestation or above). Some of those babies may only spend a few days on a unit, some much longer, but they all need the same specialist care as premature babies, and their parents’ practical and emotional needs should be treated with the same care and respect.

Caroline Lee-Davey, Chief Executive of Bliss said: “Bliss’ survey findings highlight how important it is to amplify the voices of full term families in neonatal care, particularly those who feel underrepresented. We are committed to giving all babies in neonatal care the best chance of survival and quality of life, no matter the reason for their stay or how long they are there.

“We’re proud to be launching a new annual campaign to highlight these #HiddenNeonatalJourneys, as well as further developing our information and support services to meet the needs of parents with full term babies in neonatal care. But our work does not stop here – we know we have more to do to ensure all full term parents feel supported and seen on the neonatal unit, and can play an active role in the care of their baby.

“Bliss is proud to work with so many great organisations and healthcare professionals to raise awareness and support for full term experiences in neonatal care and we will continue to work alongside our partners to drive forward a better representation of the reality of neonatal care. A special thank you to My 1st Years for their support with this campaign.”

Bliss is addressing some of the gaps in the support currently available to full term families on the neonatal unit. We’ve developed a new involvement group for parents of full term sick babies to help inform our information content and communications for parents in similar situations. In February 2021, we will be launching a new annual campaign to help raise awareness of the experiences of parents of full term sick babies, which we would love you to be a part of. Keep an eye on our social media channels from February onwards and join in if you can using #HiddenNeonatalJourneys

In addition, while much of our information about life on a neonatal unit is already relevant for parents of full term sick babies, Bliss will continue to look for ways to improve our information and support for parents of full term sick babies, from shaping our content to ensuring Bliss Champion volunteers have guidance on how best to support families whose baby was born at full term, and improving how we signpost to other relevant organisations. We know there are lots of organisations out there who can help with information and support around specific conditions, and we want to make it easier for parents to find them when they need them.

We also know how important it can be to read other parents’ neonatal stories and know you’re not alone. That’s why a special edition of Little Bliss is being sent to neonatal units all across the UK and will be available to order for free from our shop soon. This issue is filled with stories of parents with full term experiences in neonatal care, as well as tips from parents and experiences during COVID-19.

This campaign was made possible with support from the incredible My 1st Years, the personalised baby brand. My 1st Years are giving a discount to Bliss supporters, which you can find here. Our biggest thank you to My 1st Years for their support.

How you can get involved

If you have had a neonatal experience with your full term baby, we would love to hear from you. Sharing stories like yours helps Bliss to reach more parents and to show them that they are not alone. If you’d like us to share your story on our social media or if you have any other suggestions for how Bliss can better support parents of full term babies, please get in touch at media@bliss.org.uk or via our social media channels.