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Volunteering to Help Premature Babies

By: Leigh Sexton - Updated: 21 Jan 2019 | 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.

Premature Baby Cuddle Scheme

Studies showing the benefits of human physical contact on newborn babies has prompted some neo natal units to recruit volunteer "baby cuddlers". While parents are generally around to provide this vital 'service' - there are times when some respite is needed. Occasionally too, a parent will be unable to cuddle a newborn because they are unwell themselves, this is where volunteer cuddlers come in. Their role is simply to hold an unhappy baby, providing a human touch and perhaps singing or talking gently to reassure them.

Where Can I Find a Cuddle Programme?

We don't have a list of cuddle programmes in the UK, so please contact your nearest premature baby unit, or NHS trust to find out more.

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[Add a Comment]
I live in South Wales near Swansea. I am a mother to two children under 10, and if possible, I’d love to offer my services as a baby cuddler. My daughter was in a special care until for few days after she was born, and this service would have kept my mind at ease had it been available then.
Kyliehart - 21-Jan-19 @ 3:23 PM
I live in Essex central to Southend, Basildon & Broomfields hospital. I have two children and would love to offer my time as a baby cuddler 07771538861
Kel - 14-Jan-19 @ 9:42 PM
Hi, I would like to volunteer myself for your courier services. I only have a vehicle so not a motorcycle but I can cover the whole of East Sussex. Please contact me if you would require any help within this area. Kind regards Sophie James
Sophie James - 14-Jan-19 @ 4:10 PM
I would like tovolunteer in Glasgow for your Baby cuddle unitI am 68yrs old I'm retiredand have plenty of time on my hands because a cuddle can make a mountain of difference to a wee sick Baby.And to me
Nell - 12-Jan-19 @ 9:57 AM
I would like to volunteer for crafs Who can I contact please?
Monica - 9-Jan-19 @ 4:17 PM
I would love to volunteer as a baby cuddler, I am currently in college doing childcare and I’m still trying to figure out what childcare career path I’d like to go down, children’s nurse is on my mind, if also like to do this because when I was reading about it, it made me really emotional and I would just let to make a baby happy with a cuddle for a little while to think that they don’t get constant affection breaks my heart
Leanne - 27-Dec-18 @ 12:05 AM
Hello, I'm 19 years old and living in the Islington area. I'm a student at college studying a health and social care course. I would like to be a volunteer at your hospital in order to learn more about nursing care. This opportunity to volunteer in a hospital environment would support my ambitions of becoming a child nurse in the future. I feel that I have the right attitude to be considered as an volunteer as I am patient, calm approachable and willing to learn new things. Many thanks Tina
Tina - 13-Dec-18 @ 12:31 PM
Don't mind giving babies cuddles they just need a little TLC cos I need a little bit of cuddles now and then I won't mind helping out
Bells - 30-Nov-18 @ 12:07 PM
I would love to volunteer to cuddle a baby and sing or talk to them I live in mid Glamorgan in Wales.
Rhi - 18-Nov-18 @ 12:44 PM
I would also love to become a volunteer to cuddle babies. I live in the Northamptonshire area and would love to help!
Kala - 10-Nov-18 @ 2:58 PM
I live in Inverness and would love to be a ‘baby cuddler’It is one thing in my retirement I would love to do - work with babies.I have lots of spare time as my grandchildren are now in school. I would love to be able help.
Mrs T - 7-Nov-18 @ 6:46 PM
This seems a fabulous idea, why is it advertised for people to offer help then be told it is not offered in the U.K, when we are one of highest rated countries to have babies born? We as a country are willing to stand together and help so are not able to? If enough hospitals, or Trusts actually took note of this and the Government poured enough money into the NHS, we would not be as far behind in some ways of the care we give as others.
Lynsey - 1-Nov-18 @ 10:06 AM
I would love to become a cuddle volunteer
Tina - 31-Oct-18 @ 10:20 PM
Hi I am looking to volunteer as a baby cuddler for all those poorly, premature babies that need a little extra comfort and support. This is a great way to volunteer for me to try make a difference. I live in the Middlesbrough area and would appreciate if I could be considered for these services near me. Thank you
Mandy - 28-Oct-18 @ 12:54 PM
I would love to share my love with them .??????
Aga - 18-Oct-18 @ 3:23 PM
I’d love to help with the cuddle programme I’m a mother of 6 children and a grandmother of 6 too. Iv Got spare time on my hands as I’m a career for my eldest grandson so only have while he’s at school free want to do something with babies love to help
Stella Artois - 13-Oct-18 @ 11:52 AM
I'm looking to volunteer to cuddle new horns x
Mel - 12-Oct-18 @ 11:49 AM
I am looking to volunteer for the cuddle programme, I have two children of my own and if their is one thing I am good at it’s cuddling them.To think that I can help by cuddling a baby fills me with warmth.
Cbeck2711 - 11-Oct-18 @ 10:16 PM
Stace - Your Question:
Hi I am wondering if you’re looking for volunteers to help with the cuddle program I live in Glasgow and would love to come along and help

Our Response:
We don't have a list of cuddle programmes in the UK, so please contact your nearest premature baby unit, or NHS trust to find out more.
VoluntaryWorker - 14-Aug-18 @ 1:47 PM
Hi I am wondering if you’re looking for volunteers to help with the cuddle program I live in Glasgow and would love to come along and help
Stace - 2-Aug-18 @ 8:19 AM
I would like to help if there is a hospital near me
Jan - 31-Jul-18 @ 1:41 PM
Naj - Your Question:
Is there a programme for volunteering to work with babies who have addictions ?

Our Response:
Ask at your local hospital neo natal unit to see what volunteering opportunities are available.
VoluntaryWorker - 31-Jul-18 @ 10:24 AM
Is there a programme for volunteering to work with babies who have addictions ?
Naj - 30-Jul-18 @ 5:44 AM
I would like to help and cuddle prematurebaby's in Manchester
Zammour - 15-Jul-18 @ 9:40 AM
I would love to sigh up volaunry work with cuddle babies
Emmz - 25-Jun-18 @ 3:11 PM
Jade - Your Question:
Hi, I’d love to volunteer to cuddle babies. Could you please advise on how I can go about this? I live close to London and Watford, I’m happy to travel as needed. Many thanks!

Our Response:
We don't have a list of cuddle programmes in the UK, so please contact your nearest premature baby unit, or NHS trust to find out more.
VoluntaryWorker - 25-Jun-18 @ 1:42 PM
I would like to help, I’m in the Brighton area Sussex. Sam x
Sam - 25-Jun-18 @ 11:27 AM
Would love 2 help in the Edinburgh area
Evie - 24-Jun-18 @ 11:03 AM
Hi, I’d love to volunteer to cuddle babies. Could you please advise on how I can go about this? I live close to London and Watford, I’m happy to travel as needed. Many thanks!
Jade - 22-Jun-18 @ 6:29 PM
I would like to offer to become a cuddle care ! I live in Portsmouth.Not sure how to in roll in this
Scooby - 20-Jun-18 @ 2:58 PM
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