Support for parents

This page contains brief explanations to some of the questions you may have about neonatal care, or for when you arrive on a neonatal unit. We know how overwhelming it can be when you arrive on a neonatal unit with your baby. Parents often tell us it can be difficult to process all the information you are given.

Family and Friend Support

  • Your presence is crucial during ward rounds. Share your observations and concerns, ask questions, and actively participate in planning your baby’s care.
  • Feel empowered to ask questions or express any concerns you have about your baby’s treatment or condition. The team is there to support and guide you.
  • Remember, the Neonatal Unit is a team effort, and your involvement is vital in ensuring the best possible care for your little one.

We hope this information helps you feel more comfortable and informed during your time in the Neonatal Unit. Remember, the team is there to support you and your baby every step of the way. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and be a partner in your baby’s care.

Support from Care Coordinators

The Care Coordinator Team supports the neonatal units in London to develop, improve and enhance family experience by acting as a conduit between parents and the neonatal teams. Their main area of focus is to promote partnership between families and staff by supporting neonatal units to embed a family integrated care culture. This enables families to become an active part of their baby’s multi-disciplinary care team and ultimately, become confident and knowledgeable primary caregivers.

The Care Coordinators are also supporting units to progress in the Unicef Baby Friendly and Bliss Baby Charter Accreditations, which both involve units auditing their practices and developing meaningful plans in order to improve standards of care that benefit both neonatal babies and their families.

Many families in London move between different neonatal units depending on; where their delivery was, the level of care their baby requires and where their home postcode is and we recognise that this process can present a number of challenges and disruption to families. With this in mind, the Care Coordinator Team are also working towards reducing variation in practices across the region, in order to standardise family integrated care for babies and families and make this experience more positive and manageable.

The Care Coordinators strive to ensure that the neonatal parent’s voice is at the forefront of everything we do and we work closely with the PAG (Parental Advisory Group), LMNS (Local Maternity & Neonatal System) and MNVP (Maternity & Neonatal Voice Partnerships) working groups to achieve this vital representation in all of our projects.

Parent Help Groups

Contact our Parent Advisory Group Chair

Jade Umeh lives with her husband and 3 young boys and is also a Postnatal Doula. Her lived experience stems from having had her 2 children on the Neonatal Unit at North Middlesex Hospital, the most recently in 2019. Shortly after discharge, she joined the unit’s Parent Support group. The support that is offered to families starting their journey in neonates is an integral part of their experience. Sharing this has been a huge passion for her ever since, which lead her to become part of the North Middlesex Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) with the PAG Chair role being a natural progression of her passion.

Jade has been involved in various network and LMNs projects including the co-production of various communication projects, videos and presentations. She works alongside the Allied Health Professionals (AHP) team to give guidance from a parent’s perspective. She is very much looking forward to working in partnership with all families, multi-disciplinary groups both in neonates and maternity services, so the parent voice is heard. She can be contacted on Jade.Umeh@gstt.nhs.uk

Read experiences from other neonatal parents
Parents Stories

Tips whilst your on a unit

  • Keep a journal to document your baby’s progress and your own emotions.
  • Take photographs and videos to capture special moments in the NICU.
  • Celebrate even the smallest milestones – every step forward is a victory.
  • Trust your instincts and ask questions if you have any concerns.

We wish you and your little one all the best on this journey. With courage, love, and the right support, you will get through this and welcome your healthy baby home.

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