This Friday 15th November is #worldprematureday. Now this is a cause close to my heart. In 2011/12 I was working as a Family Support Worker on the neonatal unit of Homerton Hospital in East London.
It was the experience of a lifetime and even though I was only there for 10 months, I can still picture in my mind some of the babies faces and I wonder how they are these days. I wonder if the baby who was abandoned ever found a new Mum. I wonder if the family who were traveling every day from Kent for months on end to see their little fighter are feeling settled now. I think of the babies born addicted to heroin and the nights I paced up and down trying to soothe them as the chemicals worked their way painfully out of their tiny and innocent bodies.
I think of the junior doctors who had to practise doing lumbar punctures on these miniscule skeletons while I held them down, crying myself! The nurses, the consultants, the registrars, the occupational therapists, the speech and language therapists, the cleaners... everyone had a vital role that consistently rotated and revolved around the clock to care for these babies and their families.
I noticed that there was a lack in health and wellbeing and support for the parents as they focused only on the progress of their children. Parents couldn't sleep over with their babies until the last few days and so maintaining the bond was vital. I was inspired by an Occupational Therapist to become a Baby Massage Instructor with the #IAIM International Association of Infant Massage in order to help parents nurture this loving bond and attachment. I love every minute that I work with families in this most precious of milestones, supporting them to find their way in their new worlds.
@liverpoolwomenscharity are running a campaign called #neonforneo as they raise money for their @bigtinystepsappeal and I will be supporting them with the ladies in my sessions.