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Help for Parents

While your baby is on the neonatal unit the nurses caring for him or her can offer you support and information.  Your family and friends can also provide you with support.    On some units nursing staff hold regular coffee mornings where you can get together with other parents to chat, support each other and talk about your experience.  There may be times though when you want to speak to someone who doesn’t know you.  Every unit has a hospital chaplaincy team who are available to provide you with support and a listening ear.  This service is open to you whatever your religious beliefs and even if you don’t have any.

Bliss, is the charity for premature and sick babies, and has a number of support services available to families.   Lots of useful information can be found on the Bliss website bliss.org.uk.  There is also an online message board where you can chat to other parents who are going through or have been through a neonatal journey.   The helpline is a UK-wide service that offers advice, support and information to families and friends of anyone with a baby who is in, or has been in, neonatal care.   Their team of qualified advisors can provide you with support and advice as well as referring you to other services, many of them free of charge.

The helpline number is 0500 618140 and is free to call from UK landlines.  It is open Monday to Friday 10:00-16:00 and Monday to Wednesday 19:00-21:00.  Outside of the helpline opening hours you can email hello@bliss.org.uk.  The helpline uses the Language Line translation service so if you do not speak English you can leave your name, contact number and language you speak and they will call you back.

Most units in the Yorkshire and Humber network have a Bliss volunteer available on the unit.  Bliss volunteers and are fully trained and are able to offer, support, information, sign posting and a listening ear.  You can check on the Bliss website to find out if your unit has a Bliss volunteer available.

Bliss has a number of information factsheets and booklets which cover a range of topics including skin-to-skin, breastfeeding as well as many specific medical conditions.  Many of these will be available on the neonatal unit where your baby is being cared for.  You can access the full range of factsheets and information booklets which can be downloaded or ordered for free on the Bliss website.

Bliss recognises that although taking your baby home will be a happy time for you and your family, it can also be stressful transitioning to life at home without the support of the neonatal staff.   Helpline and message board support is still available once you have left the neonatal unit.  In addition, there are a number of Bliss Family groups in Yorkshire and the Humber where you can get face-to-face support and information and meet other families who have had a baby on the neonatal unit.    Some units also have their own support groups which are run by the nursing staff. You will be given this information when you are discharged home.