COVID-19: Advice for Parents on the Neonatal Unit
Updated – 20th March 2020
Consultants and Senior Nurses on the RVI Neonatal Unit have put together 10 Top Tips to help address some of the concerns and questions that parents with babies on the Unit may have in these understandably worrying times. We want you all to feel supported during this time, so we will do our best to work with the Neonatologists and Senior Staff to respond to general questions, but please be aware we cannot answer specific questions about individual babies.
Please see below, you can also download a PDF version of these Tips here.
Ward 35 Neonatal Unit – 10 Top tips for you & your baby during COVID-19
We know many parents are anxious so we’ve put this short guide of things you can do to help your baby
- Spend as much time with your baby as you want. If you are unwell, or a family member is unwell take advice from NHS 111. If you are well but are worried about visiting, speak to or phone the nurse looking after your baby.
- Touching and comfort holding – wash your hands every time you come to the baby unit. Cradle your baby with still, resting hands. This is more comforting than stroking or massage which can be quite stimulating.
- Skin to Skin Kangaroo Care is safe & good – there are many physical and emotional benefits to both your baby and to you. Ask the nurse about the best time and when they can help you to do this.
- Talk and sing to your baby – the sound of your voice is very comforting to your baby. Reading books or poems to your baby also helps them relax.
- Using Miniboo’s – your baby will be comforted by your smell, and there is no risk of infection if you’re well and you use as we recommend.
- Keep providing breastmilk for as long as you can – antibodies made by the mother are secreted into the breastmilk and help protect the baby from infections.
- Do your baby’s cares – you can help to look after your baby every day. Discuss with the nurses what you can do. Remember to wash your hands both before and afterwards.
- Family – we know how important other family members are. However, at present we think it is safest to limit how many people come to the baby unit so at present we are only allowing parents to visit. If you have specific circumstances or concerns, speak to the nurse in charge.
- Look after yourself – if you are worried or concerned about anything speak to us; keep well hydrated – viruses prefer dry mouths and throats!
- Put your mobile phone down! – we are all addicted to scrolling & social media. When you’re on the baby unit take the chance to focus on your baby and you. Phones carry germs and viruses. Clean them if you touch them.