Bliss is a leading neonatal charity in the UK that works to ensure that every baby born premature or sick has the best chance of survival and quality of life. They support families with premature babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) as well as train and support neonatal healthcare professionals, to ensure the 60,000 babies born premature every year1 receive high-quality and specialised care. Neonatal healthcare professionals play a vital role in making this very difficult time more manageable for parents, and recent research from Bliss and WaterWipes found that 79% of parents with a premature baby felt their neonatal nurses were their biggest source of support while on the unit. Bliss helps healthcare professionals learn how they can best support parents and encourage them to involve parents directly in their baby’s decision making and care.
The ‘Baby Milestone’ cards
This World Prematurity Day, WaterWipes is proud to be collaborating with Bliss to sponsor and distribute their ‘Baby Milestone Cards’. These cards have been designed to celebrate the achievements and victories babies meet within the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and at home. This includes their first feed, first cuddle and first nappy change. These are monumental milestones for premature babies and such precious moments for parents.
Direct parents to these free cards and encourage them to take pictures to mark and celebrate their baby’s personal journey.
The ‘About Neonatal Care’ guide
As part of Bliss’ work to support parents with babies in the NICU, WaterWipes and Bliss have also launched the ‘About Neonatal Care’ guide to provide parents with essential information and guidance on neonatal care.
This guide is designed to inform and support parents during a challenging and difficult time. Arriving on the NICU can be incredibly overwhelming for parents; seeing all of the equipment and tests being performed on their baby can also be hugely stressful and the guide has been written specifically to answer any questions they might have when they first arrive on the unit.
The ‘About Neonatal Care’ Guide includes information on the following:
How neonatal care works
Who parents might see on the unit
What the equipment does
Who they can turn to for guidance and support
The routines, tests and scans that occur
The care their babies will receive from staff
How parents can be involved in the care for their baby on the unit
It also has helpful ideas for getting more emotional support, with blank spaces to write down questions’ parents might have or notes on how they're feeling. Being on the neonatal unit can be daunting for parents, so encouraging them to seek support, ask questions and get further guidance is crucial. Recent research from Bliss and WaterWipes has shown that 41% of parents with premature babies didn’t feel they could be open with family and friends about how they were feeling and had to put on a brave face when on the unit.
Allow parents time to read the guide in full and encourage them to write down any worries or questions they may have. This will be useful when they speak to a consultant, or any other neonatal healthcare professional on the ward, so they are equipped to ask questions about their baby’s care. To order the guide, direct parents to this free resource or to learn more, go to the Bliss information and support page on looking after premature babies.
WaterWipes and premature and sick babies
WaterWipes recognises the importance of the support Bliss provides to families of babies born preterm or sick. WaterWipes is proud to be sponsoring these two vital resources for parents, as it has been shown that 90% of parents felt less isolated as a result of Bliss’ information and resources, which includes the ‘About Neonatal Care’ guide and the ‘Baby Milestone’ cards.
WaterWipes have been specifically developed to be so mild and gentle that they can even be used on premature babies’ delicate skin. They are made with just two ingredients; 99.9% high purity water and a drop of fruit extract, and have recently been validated by the Skin Health Alliance as being purer than cotton wool and water.
WaterWipes are recommended by midwives and healthcare professionals worldwide and are the preferred wipe for many neonatal intensive care units throughout Ireland, the UK, the US, Australia and New Zealand.