More ongoing care is needed for premature babies and parents says new report

The Smallest Things have published a report on Life After Neonatal Care based on the feedback of 1,600 mothers of premature babies.

Premature baby resting on mum's chest.

Tommy's news, 08/06/2017

Last month, The Smallest Things charity which promotes support for premature babies and their parents, published their 2017 report on Life after Neonatal Care.

The report was based on a survey of over 1,600 mothers and addressed issues including maternal mental health, family life, ongoing medical needs and regular re-admission to hospital.

The results revealed some worrying trends, with many parents being unable to access necessary support following premature birth.

The report found:

  • Over one third of mothers felt isolated following neonatal care.
  • 63% of mothers of premature babies experienced anxiety after being discharged.
  • 46% of children had ongoing medical difficulties following premature birth.
  • 48% of premature babies were re-admitted to hospital following discharge home from neonatal.
  • 14% of mothers were unable to return to work as a result of their child’s health needs.

With around 60,000 babies born prematurely every year in the UK alone, research such as this is incredibly important.

Professor Andy Shennan, Clinical Director of Tommy’s Preterm Surveillance Clinic, said,

‘Preterm babies can have lifelong consequences and the findings of this report confirm both the ongoing health impacts to the baby and the psychological implications for the parents. Preventing preterm birth has widespread benefits and remains a major goal.’

If you’re struggling following the early birth of your baby and need some extra support or guidance, our midwives are available on our free information line from 9 – 5, Monday – Friday. You can phone them on 0800 0147 800.

More information

Adjusting to your new reality after having a premature baby can be difficult and overwhelming. If you or someone you love is struggling to cope, take a look at our information and support pages on premature birth.

You can also read about support for you and your premature baby at home here.

We want to support you every step of the way. Tommy’s free app for parents of premature babies is the first of its kind in the UK. 'My premature baby' contains all the prematurity information from the Tommy's book: Having a premature baby. It helps you keep a development diary to record events, thoughts and big milestones as well as connecting with parents going through similar experiences. Download ‘My premature baby’ for free here.

You can read The Smallest Thing’s Life After NICU Report 2017 here.

Read more about caring for your premature baby

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