Bliss | Premature Babies Charity | Mothercare

By Grover Koelpin No comments


For 30 years, BLISS has been the leading UK Charity providing information and support to families with babies needing special care. ‘When I first saw Emmeline, it was extremely
emotional, she was absolutely tiny. You couldn’t quite believe that something that size could
even be alive. I just thought she was too small to survive at all.’ ‘We didn’t know for quite a few minutes whether
she was a boy or girl, or whether she was still alive.’ ‘Hour by hour you start to hope a little bit
more that it will be okay actually’ In 2005 the Bliss baby charter said to people
that babies had rights, that there were things that were important for them. And since that huge step forward, we’ve carried
on trying to make things better for babies. Completing the audit tool and participating
in the accreditation scheme, gives us a guide and tells us what we should be doing to make things
as good as possible for these premature and very sick babies. And their families. When parents have a sick baby or premature
baby they go from expecting to have their baby with them, to having their baby taken
away from them. Not being able to do anything for their baby,
whilst the doctors and the nurses do everything. Whilst there are some things they can’t do,
there are an awful lot of things they can do. Without Bliss nurses, I would have struggled
to make myself heard within the hospital environment. They are like a liaison between the parents
(and the families of the babies) in the neo-natal unit and the doctors and nurses. The time that you spend with parents isn’t
interrupted so they can spend as little or as long as they like with you, helping them
to care for their baby, getting their baby out for skin to skin contact. Sometimes just
talking. Bliss nurses definitely gave me the confidence
to be involved in Emmeline’s care and I found that that meant that I felt much more in control. Having skin to skin contact we could see on
her monitors that her heart rate came down and was level. Her breathing improved, they
grow better, they sleep better, and there is a higher chance that baby will go home
fully breastfed which has lots of benefits for the baby and the family, and society. Talking to somebody who really has been there,
waiting at the end of a telephone, who has been walking into a ward round and been told
some news about their baby. Those volunteers are invaluable. I think you find that it’s very common if
you have a premature baby, you would always like to help someone else through it as well
because you know how difficult it is and how stressful an event it is in your life. There are many ways in which you can volunteer
for Bliss, for example fundraise, campaign with your MPs, you can visit the units to
support parents on the units, and run the family support groups. 80% of our work is funded by individuals and
companies, and foundations with that support we have achieved an awful lot but there is
still so much more that needs to be done. We’re just so grateful to everything that
Bliss did for us. Knowing that we were just one of many many babies and many many parents
that they were helping through an extremely difficult time.

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