Tommy's news 2018
When a baby is born prematurely, they are vulnerable and usually require long stays in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) or special care baby unit (SCBU), which adds financial pressure onto an already stressful time for parents.
We are pleased to hear that as of 1 April, parents of premature and sick babies will now receive help meeting the additional costs they face as a result of their baby being in hospital, with the introduction of a new £1.5 million Neonatal Expenses Fund.
Following a visit to our Preterm Birth Clinic, Health Secretary Shona Robison, said:
'Having a premature or sick baby is a hugely testing and emotional time for parents. We want to ensure they are supported and involved as possible in decision-making around their baby’s care, and have more opportunities to bond as a family during these early days'.
Dr Sarah Stock, Consultant Obstetrician at NHS Lothian and Senior Clinical Lecturer at MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, University of Edinburgh, said:
“We recently launched a specialist service for women who are at higher risk of giving birth before full term. We are trying to understand the factors associated with early birth and interventions that might help to prolong pregnancy, so that every baby has the best chance of being born healthy. The clinic – supported by Tommy’s, the baby charity – is the first of its kind in Scotland.”
With 60,000 babies born prematurely each year in the UK, this funding will make a difference to thousands of parents across the country.
What is premature birth?
Premature or preterm birth is when a baby is born before 37 full weeks of pregnancy. Globally, more than 1 in 10 pregnancies end in premature birth – around 15 million babies every year
Tommy's Premature Birth Research
Premature or preterm birth is when a baby is born before 37 full weeks of pregnancy. Globally, more than 1 in 10 pregnancies end in premature birth – around 15 million babies every year.
Tommy’s support cutting-edge work on the causes and prevention of premature birth through our centres in both London and Edinburgh. Clinics at both centres care for mums at risk of preterm birth.
Learn more about our premature research.
The Neonatal Expenses Fund is designed to provide a contribution towards the cost of having a baby within neonatal care.
As the parent of a premature baby, you are likely to spend a lot of time in the neonatal intensive care unit (also called the neonatal unit). This will probably feel very strange at first, but as you become more familiar with the way the unit works and what all the equipment does (see below), you will find it less daunting. Learn more about the NICU with our fact sheet on how the unit operates.