Each year, hundreds of newborn babies require specialist care, which cannot be given by the hospital they are born in.
Babies may be born prematurely, have difficulty breathing, or need emergency surgery. These babies will require treatment in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Princess Anne Hospital in Southampton is home to the NICU for the central southern counties. Babies can be transferred hundreds of miles from their place of birth to receive life-saving care which isn’t available anywhere else in the region.
This can be traumatic and stressful for mothers and families, as they can be separated from their baby within hours of their birth.
The project will set out:
- To better understand parents’ experiences within NICU.
- To find ways of relieving the burden faced by parents.
- Lead to the development of resources, support, and interventions to help parents at this incredibly challenging time.
When I woke from surgery, I was in shock and an hour away from my baby! I was discharged the next day and went to Southampton immediately to be with Ellie. When I arrived on the unit her body was being cooled, but she was barely moving in the incubator.
I found it difficult to bond with her at this stage as I couldn’t do any more than to touch her. I couldn’t pick her up, I couldn’t breastfeed her. All the things I had done from birth with my first daughter, Isabella, I couldn’t do with Ellie.” – Marta Bevis