When you first arrive on the neonatal unit

Congratulations on the birth of your baby – this is one of the most exciting things that can happen in a family. But finding out that your baby is going to spend time in a neonatal unit can be a very difficult experience.

This information can help you find your way when you first arrive on a neonatal unit.

It explains some of the equipment you might see, the hospital staff and support workers you might meet, and the medical words you might hear.

It also gives some ideas of how to start caring for and getting to know your baby, and some simple suggestions of what you can do as a parent to support your baby.

This information can also help you think through any questions you may have for the doctors and nurses looking after your baby.

If you'd like to see information about the review of this information, or the references, these can be found by downloading the PDF or ordering the print version below.

When you first arrive on the neonatal unit

Arriving in the neonatal unit felt like landing on another planet. The sounds, smells, machines, medical terms, routines and even my own baby were all unfamiliar. When you first arrive on the neonatal unit

Abigail, mum

Before you read on

This information has been written to give you a greater understanding of neonatal care. It is designed to help you understand the specific medical advice you will be given about your baby’s care from health professionals, as well as to help you settle in to routines on a neonatal unit.

The information is written with parents of premature and sick babies born in the UK in mind. We try to make sure our information reflects current practice across the UK, but there may be some differences in how the care of your baby is managed between units.

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Bliss provides information and support to parents, and does not give specific or individual advice on medical care.

The information in this section is due for review May 2021