Please note, this page is printable by selecting the normal print options on your computer.
My baby is on the NNU, what should I know?
We understand you are likely to have concerns and anxiety about having a baby on the NNU. Please do not hesitate to seek help, information and support from the NNU team. You can discuss anything with the nurses or doctors that are regularly on the NNU and up to date with current information. If you are feeling unwell, please do not come to the NNU, but please phone us to discuss and follow the NHS guidelines available at:
For additional information we recommend you look at trusted information sites:
BLISS are currently offering 1:1 video chats with a BLISS champion Volunteer to offer support for anyone who has a baby on NNU: https://www.bliss.org.uk/parents/support/remote-volunteer-support
NNU provide vCreate which offers support and reassurance through videos of your baby. Please ask the NNU staff about this.
My baby will soon leave the NNU. What do I need to know?
Taking your baby home can be a very anxious time without the additional worry about coronavirus. The NNU staff can again discuss and talk with you about any concerns you have.
• Neonatal Community Team
Depending on your baby’s needs you may have the support of the Neonatal Community team. We are based in the hospital and understand the anxiety when transitioning from hospital to home. Please ask any of the NNU staff to get in touch and we will come to see you on the NNU. We will try to chat with you before you go home. Before being discharged you will get card with our contact details and you can call us between 8.30-4.30 Monday to Friday. Alternatively leave a voicemail with your name and number and we will get back to you:
Neonatal Community Team: 01908 996517
We will visit you at home, if it is considered necessary. However, we will phone you before our visit to discuss. If we visit, we will wear gloves, mask and apron (PPE). It may be best to warn older siblings.
• Reducing risk of severe illness from Coronavirus
If your baby has spent time on the NNU, your baby may be at more risk, we advise the Govt.uk recommendation: “We are advising those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures.”
This currently (but subject to change) means:
o Staying at home and keeping baby at home. BUT please attend medically advised out-patient appointments and immunisation clinic. Immunisations offer valuable protection against childhood illnesses. If you have any worries please talk to the Community Team.
o We are trying to do most outpatient reviews via phone. If you have a new number please inform NNU and the Community Team.
o No one to visit that lives outside of baby’s home, this includes all family and friends.
o If you cannot avoid taking baby out, please adhere strictly to social distancing guidelines:
• Further measures to reduce risk
Stringent hygiene measures:
o Hand washing before touching the baby, breast pumps or bottles
o Hand washing after nappy changes and contact with other members of the family
o Avoiding coughing or sneezing on the baby whilst feeding
o Following pump cleaning recommendations after each use
o If you feel unwell, ask someone who is well to feed your baby. If breast feeding consider using expressed milk using a bottle, following sterilisation guidelines fully
Only a few babies will require shielding measures. You will be told by your baby’s consultant and you will be advised accordingly.
What should I do if I think my baby is unwell?
If you any concerns, please seek early advice. Call 111 at any time. Please mention that your baby has been in NNU and any ongoing medical needs. Babies that are unwell tend to: feed less, not wake at their usual feed time, be sleepier, be irritatable or crying more than normal, have a high or low body temperature, vomit more than usual, and have less wet nappies. For a list of symptoms that may be worrying please refer to: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-children
A medical professional will be able to talk with you and discuss any concerns, please do not delay.
What if I feel unwell?
Please follow NHS and GOV.uk guidelines as above. If possible, self-isolate yourself from your baby if another care giver is in the home. If breastfeeding and able to express please use stringent hygiene. Even if you have Coronavirus there is no evidence not to give baby breast milk, and breast milk has health benefits for your baby.
What can I do if I am feeling anxious?
Taking a baby home from the NNU is an anxious time, and complicated by the current situation. There is a lot of help available, so please talk to someone. You can talk to your GP, Health Visitor or Community Team. We can chat with you and discuss and refer you to get the support that is available. There are also some self-support and self-referral routes. A good starting point is “every mind matters”.
You may feel alone but we are here to help.