Parent Support, parental involvement

Parent time sessions offer parents with babies on the NICU the opportunity to learn and enhance ways to care and support their infants while on the unit and preparing for home. The sessions provide the opportunity to ask questions, share thoughts and experiences with other parents, as well as enjoying some down time and enjoying a beverage and biscuits.

Topics of interest include:

  • Communicating with your baby (understanding your baby’s cues)
  • Positioning and holding your baby (including comfort holding and nesting)
  • Feeding your baby (including nasogastric tube feeding, breast feeding, bottle feeding and weaning)
  • Parent craft sessions (including bathing, changing and dressing)
  • Preparing for discharge and home Slings (an opportunity to try out slings and how to wear them) 

The sessions are held on various days and will rotate on a 6 weekly basis. The sessions are held in the NICU library and full information on what topics and when the sessions are held is displayed throughout the NICU.  There is also written information regarding the topics displayed along the corridors and further information on Family Centred Care and Developmental care for your baby.

Once discharged we also hold an annual Christmas Party for the graduates from NICU where we are always pleased to see how families are getting on and it provides an opportunity to meet up with other families who have shared similar experiences. Details of the Christmas Party are emailed to you near the time.


Bliss is a national charity for the sick, small, and premature baby, and that provides parent information and support.

Bliss publications and information can also be found across the NICU in the leaflet racks and there is a BLISS Champion who often visits the unit who you may wish to speak with. We also have fact sheets and information produced by BLISS available on many conditions available in a folder in the parent’s room, or ask one of the nurses for a copy if you are unable to find them. 

The NICU Family Support Service

We are a dedicated team of clinical psychologists and counsellors who specialise in supporting families on the neonatal intensive care unit. 

Why should I use this service?

It is normal to experience a range of feelings and emotional responses when your baby is being cared for on the NICU. It is possible that you might feel angry, shocked, sad, worried, and helpless, and out of control. Previous parents we have supported have told us that it can feel like “an emotional roller-coaster” on NICU, that they have been overwhelmed by their feelings and that, at times, they have been shocked, bewildered or upset by their thoughts and feelings.

The NICU Family Support Service can be helpful because it offers you a confidential space to talk about your journey to and on NICU and the impact this has had on you. We offer sessions either by your baby’s cot side or in a room close by. If you feel that an appointment with the NICU Family Support service would be helpful or you would like to find out more, please ask any member of staff on NICU to refer you. If you would prefer to self-refer, please contact our psychology secretary on 01223 216878 or you can email us on