Hello, my name is Bobbie, and, as the Family Centred Care Co-ordinator, I support families whilst their baby is on the nnu at St George’s. I feel privileged to work here with so many wonderful families, during a very difficult time in their lives. As well as offering hands-on help to families, I am responsible for introducing initiatives, such as Cuddle Charts and Kangaroo Care, delivering staff training and liaising with the rest of the team to ensure Family Centred Care is embedded into policy and practice across the unit.
Family centred care is based on the understanding that the family is the baby’s primary source of strength and support and that the family’s perspectives and informed choices are important in clinical decision making. Involving families in neonatal care in this way also helps increase parents’ confidence in their role, reducing stress and contributes to improved outcomes for their babies.
So how do I help families?
- I provide general support; listening to parents’ concerns, discussing practical issues such as parking, finances and housing and liaising closely with our unit counsellors, chaplains and the wider team.
- I encourage parents to get to know their baby – suggesting ways for them to feel closer to their baby and to understand their baby’s cues. Parents know their babies better than anyone else and they can often notice subtle changes in their baby’s condition before staff do.
- I talk to parents about developmental care, so they understand how creating a positive environment for baby promotes healthy development.
- From as early as possible, parents are supported by staff to be as involved in their baby’s care as they wish to be. Sometimes this is scary, but the benefits to the babies and parents are huge.
- Parents are taught, by me and all staff, ways to calm, comfort and touch their baby. Positive touch and cuddling is a wonderful feeling for parents and all staff will encourage and facilitate this.
- I support mummies to start and maintain their milk supply and can answer questions about expressing and breastfeeding. When needed, I will refer onto our Feeding Specialist, for further advice and support.
Weekly Parents’ Meetings
These informal drop-in sessions are held every Wednesday afternoon in the Family Room. Parents are welcome to come and chat and refreshments are provided by First Touch. Nnu staff are present, usually a Neonatal Consultant, Family Care Co-ordinator, and one of the Unit counsellors.
You can find me on the unit Mondays, Wednesdays and some Fridays. When I am not on duty a message can be left with your baby’s nurse, the Sister in charge, or with Reception. I will reply to messages as soon as I am next in and can also be reached on my email [email protected]
Please contact me if I can help you with anything or even just to say hello!