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Volunteering to Help Premature Babies

By: Leigh Sexton - Updated: 19 Oct 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.

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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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Hi just wondered if there is a cuddle scheme in bristol at all? Thanks susan
Susan - 19-Oct-17 @ 8:56 AM
Hello, I live in Croydon and was wondering if there are any programmes around, where you can volunteer to hug drug addicted babies? I know there are plenty of these in America, I told my grandmother about it and she loves the idea about being able to help these poor little bundles fight their battle against drug addiction.
Anna - 11-Oct-17 @ 5:24 PM
Janey - Your Question:
Hi is there a new birn cuddling scheme in Manchester

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 - 18-Sep-17 @ 2:02 PM
Hi is there a new birn cuddling scheme in Manchester
Janey - 16-Sep-17 @ 4:45 PM
Sammy- Your Question:
Would love to get involved with a cuddle care program I live in Portsmouth so close to a few hospital would be perfect for me x could some please help me find out more about this xv

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 - 12-Sep-17 @ 11:20 AM
I live between Portsmouth and chichester, so close to a few hospitals and would love to help with the cuddle care program
Bernie - 12-Sep-17 @ 7:56 AM
Would love to get involved with a cuddle care program I live in Portsmouth so close to a few hospital would be perfect for me x could some please help me find out more about this xv
Sammy - 10-Sep-17 @ 4:17 PM
Amal - Your Question:
I live in London and would love to volunteer on the baby cuddling program. What are the locations in London?

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 - 7-Sep-17 @ 12:30 PM
I'm interested in cuddle care in Peterborough area can you help me find Out how please
Rachyrach - 6-Sep-17 @ 8:11 PM
D - Your Question:
Hi, I was wondering if there's any cuddle care programmes in the North London area. I have a son of my own and felt cuddles really benefitted both of us. I would love to help these little angels through cuddles.

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 - 6-Sep-17 @ 11:45 AM
Annie - Your Question:
Hi, my mother is interested in knitting for premature babies,can you give me some information how she can do this?Kind regards Annmarie Black

Our Response:
Here are some useful knitting resources for premature babies. You should contact your local neo natal unit directly to see what they will accept/what they need and if there are any organisations coordinating this local to you:
BBC Stoke Ray of Hope
Bliss Charity
Knit for Life
VoluntaryWorker - 6-Sep-17 @ 11:45 AM
I live in London and would love to volunteer on the baby cuddling program. What are the locations in London?
Amal - 5-Sep-17 @ 8:23 PM
Hi, my mother is interested in knitting for premature babies,can you give me some information how she can do this? Kind regards Annmarie Black
Annie - 5-Sep-17 @ 3:00 PM
Gill - Your Question:
Is there a baby cuddling programme in Grimsby, north east Lincolnshire

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 - 5-Sep-17 @ 9:49 AM
Hi, I was wondering if there's any cuddle care programmes in the North London area. I have a son of my own and felt cuddles really benefitted both of us. I would love to help these little angels through cuddles.
D - 4-Sep-17 @ 12:43 PM
Is there a baby cuddling programme in Grimsby, north east Lincolnshire
Gill - 2-Sep-17 @ 7:19 AM
Looking to see if there is any cuddle programmes available in Preston Lancashire?
Cathy - 31-Aug-17 @ 8:04 PM
Hi there, I was wondering if you would perhaps needing some help in north Ayrshire? I myself have a 9 years old beautiful daughter and feel that I could be of help to another parent. Hopefully hear back from you soon.
Trish - 30-Aug-17 @ 10:16 PM
Lu - Your Question:
Hi I was wondering if there are any premature baby scheme volunteering in the Birmingham area !! Look forward from hearing back from you

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-17 @ 2:22 PM
Hi I was wondering if there are any premature baby scheme volunteering in the Birmingham area !! Look forward from hearing back from you
Lu - 11-Aug-17 @ 11:26 PM
I would love to be part of this amazing thing you do i have so many cuddles to give, i cant have children of my own so i feel i could help in so many ways. Please could i have some more information. I live in nuneaton. Look forward to your reply. Kind regards Gemma Nolan
Gem - 3-Aug-17 @ 2:42 PM
Hi I'm really interested to cuddle babies who have drugs in them. I've heard it's very good for them . Can you advice me on this please. Thank you Patricia
Sharn - 17-Jul-17 @ 11:51 PM
Mar - Your Question:
Is there any cuddle care programmes in Coventry I would love the opportunity to help I used to love cuddling my 3 little boys when they was new born it is great for babies development to feel love bond secure ect Thanks for reading Mar

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 - 20-Jun-17 @ 12:23 PM
Is there any cuddle care programmes in Coventry I would love the opportunity to help I used to love cuddling my 3 little boys when they was new born it is great for babies development to feel love bond secure ect Thanks for reading Mar
Mar - 18-Jun-17 @ 2:06 PM
I live in Stirling Scotland and I'm really interested in being a volunteer baby cuddles. Is there any scheme in the local area?
Lucy241178 - 18-May-17 @ 9:50 PM
Fletch- Your Question:
Hi I'm just wondering if there are Andy places in Edinburgh or Musselburgh please

Our Response:
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.
VoluntaryWorker - 11-May-17 @ 10:30 AM
Are they any places near heanor/ derby. I couldn't think of a more rewarding job.
loz - 9-May-17 @ 7:37 PM
Hi I'm just wondering if there are Andy places in Edinburgh or Musselburgh please
Fletch - 8-May-17 @ 6:39 PM
Hi Is there anywhere in or around the Burnley, Lancashire area that take on volunteers for the premature babies? Thanks
Ailsa - 8-May-17 @ 6:35 AM
Is there anywhere in Sheffield where y can cuddle a baby the scheme for drug addicts babies
Leo - 7-May-17 @ 12:16 PM
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