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How can I get involved with my baby's care?

Baby in cot with mum

We recognise that a lot of parents want to do as much of the care for their baby as they can.  The nurses looking after your baby for you will show you how to comfort and care for your baby.  It is understandable that you might feel anxious about handling your baby, but the nurses will give you as much help and support as you need to feel confident and comfortable.

Your baby will benefit from closeness with you, hearing your voice and learning how you touch them and how you smell. We suggest that you wear light clothing when you visit, as all the rooms are very warm.  When your baby is well enough, you will be able to hold your baby and have skin to skin contact - even if your baby is still on the ventilator.  The nurses will be able to tell you if your baby is stable enough and will give you the help that you need.

The nursing staff will talk you through the Family Care Plan, which is a joint plan between yourselves and the staff to help you be as involved as possible in your baby's care.

They will also give you a copy of the 'Small Wonders' DVD.  The films aim to increase families' awareness of the benefits of breast milk for babies and of parents having skin-to-skin contact with their babies.  They also contain expert advice and 'show how' examples of these practices, to build parents' confidence to be at the centre of their baby's care, for example by changing their baby's nappy.

The DVD is also a resource for healthcare professionals to use to support and enhance hospital practice.