PARENTS

Mums Of Premature Babies In Neonatal Intensive Care Units Explain The Difficulties They Face

'What people never know is quite how small the babies are.'

27/04/2017 13:45 BST

Any parent will tell you that bringing a baby into the world will be one of the most emotional and overwhelming experiences of your life. 

But for parents whose babies come into the world a lot earlier than expected, those first few months of their lives are so very different and even more overwhelming.

“What people never know until they see a premature baby is quite how small they are,” Caroline Davey, CEO of Bliss, a premature baby charity, told HuffPost UK. 

We visited the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the Princess Anne hospital in Southampton to see what these families were going through. 

The visit to the NICU coincided with the launch of Pampers new preemie nappy range, designed specifically to meet the needs of premature babies.  

Huffpost
Left: Mother to twin boys, Jack and George. Right: Baby Milly. 

“I’ve gone through every emotion you can think of,” one mother told us, who had given birth to twin boys eight weeks previously.

Both of her twin boys, Jack and George, had open heart surgery, and when we spoke to her, George was still in the critical intensive care unit. 

“In the first four or five weeks I cried pretty much every day,” she said.

“Everything is different, you don’t get to hold your baby, you don’t get to feed your baby or change their nappy until they are ready.”

Another mother we spoke to had given birth to twins, Milly and Jack, nine weeks previously.

“The first few weeks are really difficult,” she told us. “You don’t know the routine, you don’t know the staff, there are all the beeps and you don’t know what they mean.”

Although she and her husband had been able to take Jack home, Milly was too small and was still in the NICU.

“It was really hard to take him home and be excited about that, knowing we were leaving Milly,” she said. “We come up every day.”

Watch the video above to see a snippet of what life is like in an NICU.

The new Pampers Preemie Protection Size P3 is three sizes smaller than a regular newborn nappy and is suitable for babies weighing less than 1.8lb.

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