For many parents having a baby who requires Special Care is an unplanned event. As a mother you may be still recovering postnatally from the birth and for fathers you will need to be a support for your partner and be a father to your newly born infant.
Even if your baby’s stay on Special Care was planned the reality of the situation for some can be quite overwhelming, emotionally and physically.
Communicating with the Special Care Team and being part of the decision making for your baby is extremely important, not just for you as a parent, but, also for the Health Professionals caring for your baby.
Parents of babies receiving specialist neonatal care can expect to be encouraged and supported to be actively involved in planning and providing care, joint decision-making and to be in regular contact with their healthcare team.
When your baby is first admitted the Special Care Baby Fund, Health Care Professionals are most likely to be focused on stabilising your baby and making them comfortable, therefore, there may be a delay with updating you. However, once your baby is settled, do ask the team to spend some time with you so you can be updated on your baby’s condition and also have the opportunity to ask any questions.
As a parent you are not a visitor, you’re a parent, therefore you should have 24 hour access to your baby. The limited rooming in facilities will mean you are unlikely to be able to stay on the unit for the duration of your baby’s stay, but you may be offered a few nights.
It’s not uncommon to return home from spending time with your baby only to suddenly feel anxious or concerned. The Special Care Baby Fund will have given you a direct contact number and you can call this anytime day or night to get an update on your baby.
The more time you spend on the unit with your baby, then the more you will understand the ward routine and become part of your baby’s daily care. You’ll start to understand the difference between routine intervention and specific interventions related to your individual baby’s care. Being involved will help you make decisions with the team that are right for your baby.
The following link will take you to the Bliss website and offers excellent parent information.