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Volunteering to Help Premature Babies

By: Leigh Sexton - Updated: 16 Feb 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Volunteering Craft Premature Babies

The life of a premature baby is fragile and stressed, and the family of such a baby are likely to also be extremely stressed and anxious. Physically, mentally and emotionally, the tiny babies and those who love them need all the help they can get. Fortunately there are a whole host of ways that you can volunteer to help.

Craft Volunteering

A large number of UK charities and organisations offer the opportunity to sew, knit or crochet clothing and other items needed to care for premie babies. Items needed range from premature clothes and blankets through to tiny burial outfits to give those little ones who don’t survive a suitable and loving garment in which to be seen for the last time by their grieving relatives.

The items are made for the charity and then collected to be laundered so that they are free of all infection and irritation before being taken to special care baby units.

This opportunity requires you to have the necessary craft skills, to be able to work to a pattern and to either take your items to a depot or post them to an agreed address for onward transmission.

Courier Volunteering

Several motorcycle groups and charities have volunteer roles, transporting urgently needed donor breast milk, and blood, to neonatal units where the milk is given to premature babies to boost their immune systems and the blood provides transfusions for mothers who have complications resulting from their labour.

In rural areas in particular, the regular provision of donated breast milk can make a huge difference to a baby’s survival by reducing the risk of infection. It gives the tiny babies optimum nutrition as well as reducing their vulnerability to infections and viruses. A mother who isn’t producing milk may be very stressed about her baby’s health and that can, in turn, make her ill, so ensuring that premies get good milk helps not just the infant but his or her immediate family to feel that the best possible care is being taken of the little one.

Some mothers who lose their own babies go on producing milk by breast pump and donating it to others as part of the process of coming to terms with their grief, so the provision of courier services may be helping parents who have lost a baby just as much as parents who are struggling with the complex and demanding medical routines of a neo-natal unit.

This opportunity to volunteer requires a car or, more often, a motorcycle, a full clean licence, a good knowledge of your local area and the willingness to get up and go at any hour of the day or night. Training and support and special clothing, and packaging for the medical supplies, are provided by several charities to do this work.

Support Group Volunteering

Over 80,000 babies are born too soon, too small or ill in the UK every year. Local family support groups help parents cope with the stress of having a baby in a neo-natal unit or recently returned home from one. They also support parents who have lost a premature baby and they work with wider family such as other children and grandparents who often struggle to cope with their feelings and don’t know how to act for the best around a premature baby.

This opportunity requires you to pass a Criminal Records Bureau check, to be or have been a parent (not necessarily of a premature baby) and to be willing to work with your local community. Training and support are provided by several charities to do this work.

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[Add a Comment]
Hi there I would love to volunteer endless hugs and tenderness to premature and drug withdrawal babies. I am a mother myself and have also seen the effects drug addiction can have. I may not have money to make a difference but my hugs are free and plentiful. Hope to hear from you
Caz - 16-Feb-17 @ 11:32 PM
I would love to get involved in the cuddle programme. I am based in the Eastsussex area. Thanks
Maria - 10-Feb-17 @ 8:17 PM
Hi I would love to volunteer my time to working in this field; if you could please e-mail me with additional information on how I can apply within my local area, I would be more than greatful. Thanks.
hollykins - 10-Feb-17 @ 6:34 AM
I am unfortunately unsble to have children so would love to be a cuddle volunteer in my area (Glasgow area). I do knit for a baby charity & have donated my bridesmaids dress to make buriel gowns. Any information you could give would be great.
Snapple - 9-Feb-17 @ 12:28 PM
Jo - Your Question:
I really want to volunteer for a cuddle programme, I'm not sure if we do them in the uk if not would be interested in setting one up, but have no idea how to go about it. Can you help? I'm in Exeter. Jo

Our Response:
Please see our response to the other comments. We'll try and update our article with details when we have them.
VoluntaryWorker - 6-Feb-17 @ 2:28 PM
Deb - Your Question:
I was only talking yesterday about wanting to cuddle new born babies who aren't at home with their parent for some reason and specifically babies born addicted to drugs. It seems uncanny this popped up in my news feed the day after I expressed my desire and think it's a sign. Are there any programs in North Devon?

Our Response:
We don't know of particular initiatives specifically for the cuddle programme. It's probably simplest to try your nearest neo-natal unit. We'll do some research on the cuddle programme to see what's available in the UK and post in the above article.
VoluntaryWorker - 6-Feb-17 @ 2:16 PM
Gerrie - Your Question:
Hi! I am interested in volunteering for the cuddle programme for drug dependent/ premature babies (Southampton/Winchester/ Eastleigh)

Our Response:
We don't know of anything in your area, but try the premature baby units in hospitals near you.
VoluntaryWorker - 6-Feb-17 @ 12:05 PM
I am very keen to volunteer for the cuddle program in Cornwall if one exists.Where to I find out about it?
B - 5-Feb-17 @ 5:47 PM
Hi, I would love to volunteer for the cuddle programme for premature / sick / drug dependent babies. I'm in Brighton.
Jo - 5-Feb-17 @ 3:15 PM
I have read loads about helping babies in neo due to illness or withdrawal.. I would love to volunteer to become a cuddler for babies who are in need of some heartwarming cuddles to soothe them. My wee boy was in neo for a week and know how hard it is sometimes for parents to be with them all the time. If any program does exist I would love to be contacted! Edinburgh
Ash - 5-Feb-17 @ 3:15 PM
My nan has knitted some baby hats from spare wool she had left over and I'd like to donate them if possible? If you could let me know I can go about that, that would be great. Many thanks Sammy x
Sammy - 5-Feb-17 @ 1:00 PM
I am really interested in becoming a cuddle volunteer. I am based near Bristol. Please contact me or provide details of where I can find out more information. Thanks
AmyC - 5-Feb-17 @ 12:28 PM
I really want to volunteer for a cuddle programme, I'm not sure if we do them in the uk if not would be interested in setting one up, but have no idea how to go about it. Can you help? I'm in Exeter. Jo
Jo - 4-Feb-17 @ 12:49 PM
I was only talking yesterday about wanting to cuddle new born babies who aren't at home with their parent for some reason and specifically babies born addicted to drugs. It seems uncanny this popped up in my news feed the day after I expressed my desire and think it's a sign. Are there any programs in North Devon?
Deb - 4-Feb-17 @ 8:42 AM
I am new mum and had lost my little baby girl before just one day after she was born and know how difficult can be for family's going trough hard situations. And I am happy to help new family with any support needed or any help and would be happy look after any little one or give cuddles as know how much little ones need caring just from caring after my little man. I am from Dorset and have car with full license.
Jennyg - 3-Feb-17 @ 6:45 PM
I am definately interested in volunteering and am happy to be contacted, thanks.
Kiwi - 3-Feb-17 @ 6:36 PM
Hi! I am interested in volunteering for the cuddle programme for drug dependent/ premature babies (Southampton/Winchester/ Eastleigh)
Gerrie - 3-Feb-17 @ 6:02 PM
I would love to do this must be so rewarding.
Iram - 2-Feb-17 @ 2:33 PM
Hi Would love to join a Cuddle Programme in Southampton. Many Thanks
Ima - 31-Jan-17 @ 9:04 PM
My twin girls were born at 26 weeks in Barcelona. They are now 13 and as annoying as a teenager should be. Can I help in anyway
Pops - 31-Jan-17 @ 3:00 AM
Hi, I'm super interested in any voluntary cuddle programmes in Leeds/Bradford /Yorkshire area? I have a toddler of my own but still have time on my hands and would just adore to help any vulnerable/drug reliant/ prem babies who just need some comfort, love and affection.
Shannon - 30-Jan-17 @ 7:49 PM
I would love to volunteer to cuddle newborn or babies born to drug users . I live in East Sussex so don't know if there are any programmes with local hospitals. I have had three children and my granddaughter spent her early hours and months in Gt. Ormond St . Hospital . Now retired I would love to give something back . Can you advise me please ?
None - 29-Jan-17 @ 8:13 PM
I would love to volunteer as a baby cuddler in the Birmingham area for sick or prem babies. I'm not sure if this is something that is possible but would love to do it.
Donna - 29-Jan-17 @ 6:00 PM
Hello I would love to volanteer to be a helping hand to any family with a premature, sick or drug dependant baby needing extra love and care, I am the daughter of a drug addict and would like to give back I live in hull UK and I'm looking forward to hearing from you about programmes in my area x
Jamie Lee Mackenzie - 28-Jan-17 @ 3:27 PM
I am interested in volunteering for the cuddle programme for drug dependent babies like they do in US. It doesn't have to be drug dependent babies but any that need extra special care and I need of extra cuddles. I can't have children but love babies and children and would love to be able to give some of my love those who need it Dee
Dee - 28-Jan-17 @ 1:31 PM
Hi I would love to be involved in a cuddle programme in south London if this available x
yoli - 28-Jan-17 @ 2:05 AM
Hello I'm interested in doing this where can I find information on what places do this I'm from Manchester thanks
Nicki - 27-Jan-17 @ 9:03 PM
Hi I'm wanting to know if any hospitals in the London are do the cuddle programme for Vulnerable new born babies. I know they do a programme in the us especially for babies who are born addictive to drugs. Many Thanks Bex
Bex - 27-Jan-17 @ 2:55 PM
I would love to take part in this... my children are grown up/at school so I have plenty of time on my hands and enough cuddles for these beautiful babies
Debz - 26-Jan-17 @ 11:56 AM
I have had prem twins who are now 10 and a prem son who I lostafter two days I live in Suffolk near west Suffolk hospital I have time on my hands now and would love to volunteer in my local SCBU cuddling or chatting to parents
Mary - 22-Jan-17 @ 10:45 PM
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