Sometimes, communication between parents and staff on the neonatal unit can be difficult for a range of reasons.

“I don’t feel that my views are being listened to by the clinical team”

“I would like to know more about my baby’s care, but my questions are often dismissed or not answered”

“There is someone in my baby’s care team that I don’t get on with”

“I don’t feel that my family’s needs are being fully respected or accommodated”

“I would like to stay with my baby during procedures, but instead have been told that I have to leave the room”

“I am being told different things by different members of my baby’s care team, and I am finding this confusing and upsetting”

“I’m worried that my baby’s care will be affected if I voice my concerns, or if I share that I am uncomfortable with how I am being communicated with”.

If you have thought or said anything like this then please know there is help available to overcome these difficulties and develop a positive relationship with the staff caring for your baby.

  • Remember - You are the most important person to your baby. It is the job of the staff on the unit to ensure you are listened to and respected as part of the care team. Your baby’s medical care will never be affected by any difficulties you may be experiencing with the care team.
  • If you feel that you are not being listened to, or your questions answered, try writing down the points you want to raise. The ward round may be a good time to go through these. You could also bring somebody else with you to talk with the clinical team. This could be a friend or family member to support you in asking your questions and listening to the answers. Be confident that you know your baby best and that you are entitled to ask as many questions as you need until you are satisfied with the answers.
  • If there is one or more people that you are not getting on with, or find difficult to talk to, try speaking to a different member of staff. You could also ask to speak to a member of the senior team on the unit (the ward manager, the nursing manager / matron, or the clinical lead - the doctor in charge of the unit). Share your concerns with them to see if they can help. 
  • There may be people on your unit that are there to support parents and families. These might be parent volunteers, a member of the team who supports family liaison, or a psychology professional. You could also ask if your unit has a Family Integrated Care Lead, and speak to them.
  • You can access a wide range of information and support from Bliss for further help, including access to their email and videocall support service. Find out more about how you can play more of a role in your baby's next procedure. 
  • If you are not satisfied with the response you have had, you could also speak to the patient advice service about how you can best ensure you are listened to and supported during your baby’s neonatal stay.
British Association of Perinatal Medicine (BAPM) is registered in England & Wales under charity number 1199712 at 5-11 Theobalds Road, London, WC1X 8SH.
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