Neonatal care is the care provided to babies born prematurely or sick within a neonatal unit.
The word ‘neonatal’ means new born, or the first 28 days of life. Approximately 1 in 7 babies require neonatal care at birth.
Neonatal Units provide care for babies who are born prematurely (before 37 weeks’ gestation) or with a medical condition which needs treatment when a baby become sick during or after birth or are babies born at a low birthweight.
The majority of babies admitted to neonatal units require only a short stay whilst they adjust to life outside of the womb.
Neonatal staff work in partnership with parents through a unique model of care called Family Integrated Care or FiCare. This allows parents to be fully involved with the care of their baby and enables them to develop the skills they need for successful discharge, within the safe confines of the unit.
Alongside expert medical and nursing care, many neonatal units offer peer support as well as parent craft activities, in order to fully support every aspect of family and infant development.
More information can be found about all aspects of neonatal care here: https://www.neonatalnetwork.co.uk
This short documentary video from Spoons, a Neonatal Support Charity, gives an insight into how neonatal care impacts on families (filmed at a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Greater Manchester).