What support is available when you go home

When you come home from the neonatal unit with your premature or sick baby, you may not know where to go for support. Find out more here.

Support from your family and friends

Family and friends can be an important source of support when you come home from the neonatal unit. Often they may want to help, but may not know what to say or how to approach the subject with you. There may be times when you do want someone to listen, or you may not be ready to talk about how you are feeling, and that is okay.

It might be helpful to think about what kind of support and help you might need when you come home. Sometimes, help with practical tasks can be more helpful than emotional support. If you are feeling overwhelmed, you can ask family and friends to help with practical tasks, such as:

  • cooking meals to put in the freezer for when you need them
  • driving or coming with you to follow-up appointments
  • helping with laundry or food shopping
  • helping with school or nursery pick-ups if you have other children.

When you get home, you may have family members and friends asking questions and wanting to know more about you and your baby’s health. It is natural for them to be interested, but this may feel quite overwhelming. You may want to ask one family member or friend who you trust to be the first point of contact. They can then be responsible for updating other family members or friends with any news or information. This can help to take any pressure off you.

Support with your finances

Having a baby born premature or sick can have an impact on your finances. Going to and from hospital for regular follow-up appointments can be expensive and it may be more difficult to pay your bills. A social worker at the neonatal unit may be able to help with practical issues, such as advice on travel costs or finances.

We have more information about how having a premature or sick baby can affect your finances, and what support is available.

If you are a single parent, looking after a premature or sick baby at home can be difficult. You may find it helpful to contact Gingerbread, a charity that supports single parent families.

Support from Bliss

Bliss offers support services for families. We have an email service that supports parents and families of premature and sick babies. You can email us at hello@bliss.org.uk and we’ll get back to you in 3 to 5 working days.

Some parents find it helpful to talk to someone going through the same situation. You can get peer support through the Bliss and Netmums online forum for parents, families or carers of babies born premature or sick.