The aims of the founders of Whittington Babies remains the same today; namely to support the families of babies who spend time in the NICU and the doctors & nurses who work in the NICU.
We are a very modest charity, helped by the Whittington but independent of it. We rely on the support of the NICU doctors, nurses and support staff as well as our members to make a difference to the parents we help. The main focus of Whittington Babies is to provide networking and support facility for parents via the Parent Support Group.
This is made up of volunteers from the Charity who provide a family support network to parents with babies in the NICU. Many families find this support, from people who have experienced first hand life on the NICU, very helpful at what can be a difficult time for themselves and their families.
Why it matters
The Maternity Unit at Whittington Hospital delivers approximately 4000 babies each year. Of these 7-10% need admission to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Many of the babies are born prematurely, so me of them several months before they should have been (40 weeks is considered full term). Extremely premature babies require complex medical care while they complete their development outside of their mother ’ s womb.
Other babies are born near or at full term, but may need specialist treatment or breathing support after a difficult birth. Length of stay at the hospital is variable – it can be from one day to several months. Generall y speaking, most premature babies are ready to go home around t heir due date – some earlier, some later.