While your baby is in hospital – whether her stay lasts for days, weeks or even months – much of your life is likely to revolve around the baby unit. Precisely how long this goes on for will depend on her gestational age, how developed she is and whether she has health problems.
After the initial shock of seeing your baby in the unit, you will become more familiar with the hospital environment, and will gradually understand how the baby unit works.
You may continue to feel very upset and anxious about your baby, but over time you will gradually adapt to your new circumstances and start to focus on developing your own vital role in supporting your baby's care.
You may be asked if you would consider taking part in research into premature birth. We explain what this might involve.
We answer some of your questions about your premature baby's time in the hospital and neonatal unit.
Skin-to-skin contact with your premature baby is a wonderful way for you both to bond. It also provides health benefits.
The healthcare team will cater for your baby's medical needs, but she needs you too. As you get to know your premature baby, you will begin to work out what she needs.
Your premature baby's diet will be carefully balanced to suit her tiny digestive system while meeting the needs of her growing body. This page covers talks about to feed your baby, from breastfeeding and expressing to cup and bottle feeding.
Positioning your premature baby correctly can make her feel secure, improve her breathing ability, strengthen her muscles and reduce her risk of cot death.
ℹLast reviewed on July 1st, 2014. Next review date July 1st, 2017.