FAO any mums whove had a baby in special care...

Hi Ladies,

I am in the process of setting up a 'cuddler' scheme hopefully for my local scbu, the idea grew initally from my work as a social worker (please don't shoot me!!) in SCBU working with babies who are withdrawing from drugs. These babies often have no one visiting them or only very rarely (sometimes parents can't cope with seeing the effects of the withdrawal, or just aren't able to care for their baby, or are in prison etc). Nurses as brilliant as they often are don't have the extra time to give to the baby... so I wanted to set up a visiting scheme for the babies.

Visitors would be volunteers, carefully screened and CRB checked, and trained in some physiotherapy, baby development and given understanding of all the machines and basics of life in SCBU. They would be supported and assigned to one baby and would be expected to visit the baby at least 3-4 times a week. If parents came back involved the visitor could then stay involved

When discussing the plan for this two things have some up and i would be really interested in your views on these points:

1> someone asked if these visitors would just be for 'social services babies' or would they also be available to other families for times maybe when parents weren't there. How would you feel about that if it were you? what would make you feel comfortable if you wanted a cuddler to visit your baby... would you give permission for someone to 'cuddle' your baby?

2> How would you as a parent view a cuddler service even if you didn't want it for your baby?

Any feedback and ideas would be really appreciated!

thank you very much. em x


  • Millie was only in special care for a couple of hours but I'm going to stick my oar in anyway lol

    I think it is a lovely idea. Am I right in thinking that babies who recieve lots of cuddles tend to be well enough to leave special care sooner? Even if not it has to make the situation less scary for th babies. To be honest I can't see a situation where I personally would need to make use of it, if for any reason I couldn't visit my baby I have enough family to be able to ensure that someone could. But if that wan't the case I would much rather someone was providing that one on one interaction and support for my lo than that they were laying in a cot/incubator with no one to cuddle them!
  • I thik its brilliant. Will add my veiw tomorrow but OH needs to get on here and is telling me to budge! Lol. xx
  • Thanks ladies.... views also welcome from those who haven't had baby in special care!

    and bedhead you're right, there is lots of evidence to suggest babies who get lots of attention get better quicker.... it's hopefully one of my selling points to get some funding for it!!
  • Hi,
    I had a nephew who was born 3 months early and obviusly spent a lot of time in SCBU (we're wonderful and took the most amazing care of him in both hospitals). He is now the most amazing 2 and half year old and a pleasure to spend time chasing around the house with!!
    I think your scheme sounds wonderful and I know would have helped my sister and brother in law when they needed to 'take a break'. I would imagine for the babies where parents weren't around it would be so important and an honour to be their special visitor.
    I really hope you get the full funding you need.Let us know how you get on and if you need volunteers?! Well done you x
  • What a fantastic idea! It must be so very hard to have a baby in special care, we have been lucky never to have been through that - I feel that if we were in that situation it would be good to know that there was someone there giving our baby some special care and attention. We all know how much better a cuddle makes us feel when we are poorly - why not for babies?
    Hope it goes well for you! xx
  • I think it is a lovely idea.
    I haven't had a lo in special care but if I had and couldnt be there for some reason I'd be happy my lo was getting some interaction and love x
  • hello again, thank you so much for all your feedback.... will hopefully be looking for volunteers in London soon!
  • a i think this is a fantastic idea my friend had twins 14 weeks early and they were in scbu for 12 weeks and they were amazing , i would love to be a voluteer too i think it would be so rewarding knowing ure helping a tiny baby get better when there parents cant be there for one reason or another , im also pregnant again and if i couldnt be with my baby (should he/she ever be in scbu)i would be happy for someone to cuddle and be with my baby as i have a son so for parents with more than one child it must be incredibly hard to split yourself in 2 .....well done and if u ever need voluteers in north wales area id be one .....lisa gatecrasshing from pregnancy xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • My son was in SCBU for 48hrs after birth cause he had low blod sugar & was hypoing when he was born (Iam diabetic & was left in labour with insulin drip for too long) so I know how upsetting it is to see these tiny babies lying in plastic incubators or cots with drips, tubes, lines etc in their tiny bodies.

    Now to think of them having very limited human contact as well is very upsetting so this scheme sounds like a wonderful idea.

    Asd to whether I would have used it, well no, cause i have a larg family & had lo been in long term scbu care would have had someone with him at all times but if I were alone (single parent or no family) then I think I would welcome the help & support as long as it was made clear why it was being done (to aid lo & not to take over or replace)

    I would def like to know more about the scheme when it starts so please email me (you can use the email button below my post) to get my details.
  • i think its a great idea, but not for the same person to stay with the baby alot, as the baby may become atached to that one person by getting to their smell etc which will then unsettle the baby once it is no longer in the scbu. i know that down here in our scbu they rotate nurse every shift so the baby doesnt get use to that 1 person as you dont want to come between mother and baby bonding.

    sorry for rambling on x
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