DVD supports parents of premature babies

Thursday 21 June 2012

Premature babies

We have joined forces with UK-based child health charity Best Beginnings and other hospitals across the country to develop a DVD to support parents of premature babies.

The Small Wonders DVD ensures that parents have the insight, guidance, confidence and support they need, from when they are first told they may be having a premature baby, through those first crucial hours after birth to their baby’s first birthday.

The neonatal department at Guy’s and St Thomas’ was instrumental in providing expert guidance and advice to create the DVD which follows 14 families, charting the real-life experiences the parents faced as they met, cared for, and returned home with their premature or sick baby. It is designed as a tool to help neonatal staff support and advise parents through their baby’s stay. It also encourages parents to play a pivotal role in the care their baby receives, in ways that have been proven to improve their baby’s health. These include interventions such as expressing breast milk and the provision of skin-to-skin contact, also known as kangaroo care.

There are 12 films on the DVD, each covering a different topic, which parents can select individually depending on the support they need. Films include “First hours”, “Expressing breast milk”, “Holding your baby”. An information booklet is also included, in which parents can record their thoughts and feelings as well as their own baby’s progress.

Small Wonders Champions are “catalysts for change” in their hospitals and help them ensure that the DVD is used as effectively as possible.

Dr Hilary Cass, consultant paediatrician at the Evelina Children’s Hospital (part of Guy’s and St Thomas’), and President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health says: "I have two powerful reasons to support the Small Wonders DVD. Firstly because it is such a fantastic resource for empowering parents to be active partners in the care of their premature babies – and we have overwhelming evidence that this produces tangible improvements in outcome. And secondly because I am so proud of the role our own neonatal unit has had in the production of the DVD and in championing its roll-out across the NHS.”

The mother of twins born at 28 weeks, Sinem, says: "I really believe this DVD will make a difference to people’s lives at a time when you feel so lonely, you feel so isolated…it will empower people and make that start as easy as possible in what is a really, really difficult time."

Last updated: June 2012

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