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Volunteering to Help Premature Babies

By: Leigh Sexton - Updated: 18 May 2022 | 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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I would love to be able to offer support to premature babies through the cuddling scheme, but have no clue where to start looking for them! I called my local hospital and they have never heard of such a programme, so not sure where to go next.. i am from the Leeds area
Tan - 18-May-22 @ 1:18 PM
I would love to become a volunteer in the NICU at the royal Stoke hospital. The team helped me and my baby survive.I would love nothing more than to provide the love and care that they had shown me , to children that do not have the support for whatever reason, when coming I to this world.I feel so passionate about showing what love this world has to offer.
Shell - 29-Apr-22 @ 6:54 PM
I wonder if consent is required from the baby's Mother? Some Mum's (especially first time Mums) are quite posessive of their babies and may not want other women to play Mummy to their baby. I'd be horrified if I woke up and saw some other random woman acting like my baby was hers...
Fae - 28-Apr-22 @ 7:27 AM
I am a qualified NNEB nursery nurse and a mum of two grown up children and a Nan too. I had to take early retirement in 2018 due to illness. I contacted my local hospital and completed the volunteers training there to only be told they don’t offer baby cuddlier opportunities. I would love to help people out with this. My arms are there ready
Hev - 4-Apr-22 @ 12:38 PM
Want to volunteer as a baby cuddler.
Deepa - 29-Mar-22 @ 9:46 PM
Is there any opportunity to help with babies. I am open to caring, cuddling, feeding and if anything else needed. South England.
Maja - 15-Mar-22 @ 12:12 PM
Hello I am 62, have four children and would love to help with newborns.I love babies.Please let me help.Thank you.
Heli - 16-Nov-21 @ 10:45 AM
I have one child , I would love to become a baby cuddler and help these little ones in what ever way I can, tiny babies don't scare me at all 0-3 months is my favourite age, please let me help x
Simma123 - 12-Oct-21 @ 11:19 AM
I am a pensioner and have experienced many of life's ups and downs during my 72 years. Without doubt, my ups have been with my own children and grandchildren. I am proud to say i have been able to look after and care for both my own children and grandchildren with so much love that I am being rewarded with love from them all in my great age! I have time and compassion to share if i am allowed.??
Sand - 6-Oct-21 @ 5:52 PM
I have 3 grown up children, I would love to become a baby cuddler and help these little ones in what ever way I can, tiny babies don't scare me at all 0-3 months is my favourite age, please let me help x
Eileen - 9-Sep-21 @ 2:50 PM
I have 3 grown up children, I would love to become a baby cuddler and help these little ones in what ever way I can, tiny babies don't scare me at all 0-3 months is my favourite age, please let me help x
Eileenn - 9-Sep-21 @ 2:48 PM
Hello, I adore kids, I would love to help! Being a baby cuddler would be amazing, I am also good at knitting and have made some baby clothes I can already and am happy to make more, please let me who I can contact for both. I am looking forward to hear ftom you. Thanks!
Anna - 2-Sep-21 @ 4:07 PM
I am a mother of two grown-up daughters who each have a son I have a big extended family nieces nephew friends got children which I’ve been involved with the various stages and when their parents are feisty for today I’ve been there to support and then to help in hand when needed I’ve just found out about cuddle a baby and I was overwhelmed with the thought that I could volunteer to do something so beautiful and it would help both baby and parents and extended family to know that when they can’t be there their child is being cuddled so if you think I’m right candidate for this wonderful position and please do not hesitate to contact me on the above address I hope to hear from you ASAP if possible kind regards Tanya
Tan - 27-Aug-21 @ 1:27 PM
I had 2 prem babies and 2 miscarriages. I would love to be a baby cuddle. I am fully vaccinated. I was a child protection social worker and I have a masters in social work. My mobile number is 07795385429.
Sooz - 24-Aug-21 @ 7:53 PM
I would love to be a volunteer to cuddle all baby's in need, would be an honour to be part of such a presouse time in there lifes
Debbie - 5-Jul-21 @ 8:55 AM
Hi, I’ve 6 children myself, my youngest was born extremely poorly at 30weeks and we obviously spent a lot of time on the NICU. I can relate to a parents struggle to be there and everywhere else at the same time and would have loved knowing this was a service, just someone to give my baby a cuddle whilst I was tending to the others would have helped the awful guilt you feel. I don’t know if this is a thing in Coventry but if it is I’d love some more information. Thanks
Lucy - 4-Jul-21 @ 11:48 PM
I am 53 have 2 grown up boys. I would love to volunteer as a baby cuddler in Ayrshire Scotland area and help any way I can. At moment I work with ASN children at local school and am a one to one support for a young person. Could you please send me some information x thankyou
Lorna - 4-Jul-21 @ 8:23 PM
I am 36 and I have 2 children, next year when my youngest is a preschool I would love to volunteer helping babies in some way or another and the baby cuddle scheme seems perfect.
Hayley - 27-Jun-21 @ 10:42 PM
I've recently taken voluntary redundancy from British Airways and I have lots of free time. I have always wished to help out with caring for little babies in hospital. Many years ago, I helped to feed, cuddle (where appropriate)and help care for little ones who's parents couldn't be there all the time. I'm 63 years old but still got plenty of energy. And as I don't need to work for money, I'd love to give my time to helping others.
Bernie - 4-Jun-21 @ 6:05 PM
Hello I am a Mother of 4 and live in Oxfordshire .I would love to help with babies .Please let me know how and where. Thanks Helena
Heli - 16-May-21 @ 8:37 AM
I would love to help with baby cuddling for premature babies
Dee - 4-May-21 @ 8:31 PM
I am a well-being champion and a holistic therapist.I also offer other modalities in self-healing technique, meditation with practical techniques to balance emotions and transform physical pain. I sing songs that promote healing, relaxations and balance *Soul Song is the song of one’s soul. It carries our soul frequency and vibration, which has the power to nourish and bless ourselves and others. Love Peace and Harmony is a Divine Soul Song. It carries Divine frequency and vibration. Singing Soul Song is a powerful way to deliver soul love, light, forgiveness and compassion to oneself and others. I have a close relationships with babies and children and adults of all ages.I would like to extend my services to support as necessary.baby cuddler, therapies for relaxation and self healing techniques I use Tao Healing practices and services into their repertoire to help the clients tobecome healthier and happier. I have volunteered with charities offering support, I am a
Meena - 17-Feb-21 @ 12:13 PM
I live in Derby and I am 58 years old. I have two grand children that lives in Belgium and loads of babies in our extended family all over the world, which I so wish I could hold and cuddle and love. I was reading about these little ones that need help and cuddles. If there is anyway I can get involved please can you send me some info
Willie’s - 8-Feb-21 @ 1:08 PM
Iam a 42 years old woman with two grownup boy, my forest son getting married in summer and my younger one will go to uni in September, I would love to know where about in hull isbaby cuddle program
Mar mar - 19-Jan-21 @ 12:40 AM
I'm a mum of 4. My youngest starts school in September 2021 and I will have some free time. I would love to volunteer to be a baby cuddle in the Leicestershire/Nottinghamshire area but I have no idea where to start. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
Rachel - 12-Jan-21 @ 5:24 PM
I am 36 and a father of 4 wonderful children 1 of whom requires 24hr care from myself and my wife. I have spent long periods of time in ICU, PICU and also standard wards, always seeing babies whom have no active parent by their sides to give them the time, affection and cuddles they so desperately need. I adore babies and can always be found at a wedding or family event cuddling a baby whilst the parents have some much needed fun. Since leaving work to be a full time carer I have felt without a personal purpose. I'm readily available 24hrs a day to give company and cuddles X
Jon - 22-Dec-20 @ 12:15 PM
I would like to help and volunteer for baby cuddle scheme. I just love babies and I like helping.
AnnaE - 21-Dec-20 @ 11:30 PM
I have a lot of love to give. I come from a large family of teachers and love children.
Lulu - 21-Dec-20 @ 11:13 PM
I would love to be able to be a sunggle buddy for babies. I am a mum of 3 ages 13, 11 and 8 and i absolutely love babies. My youngest daughter spent her 1st week in the special baby unit at Princess Royal Hospital, Orpington and even though i was able to stay with my daughter most mums wasnt as lucky as me and i would like to give back by helping mums with their babies whilst they can not be with their baby. I live in Roehampton, South London SW15. If someone can get back to me regarding this, that would be great. Hope to hear from someone soon. Thank you.
Leanne C - 13-Dec-20 @ 7:38 AM
I am a teacher and grew up around babies. I have a lot of experience with them. I love babies, they are so precious. My friends call me the 'baby whisperer' as I am able to calm babies and put them to sleep easily. I would love to give the love I have to help babies and families in need. Where can I volunteer to be a baby cuddle?
Maryann - 12-Dec-20 @ 10:57 PM
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