Becoming a parent and welcoming a baby into the world should be one of the happiest moments in life. But for parents whose babies start life in neonatal care, those positive feelings of optimism and joy can quickly be replaced by doubt, worry and fear.
Having a baby in neonatal care is emotionally challenging for all parents, but for parents whose babies have been born since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been even harder. Despite moves toward easing social distancing in the rest of society, ongoing access restrictions in neonatal units across Yorkshire continue to have a serious impact on families. Parents have been unable to be with their baby as much as they need to be and some parents – often fathers and partners – have been unable to spend time with or be involved in their baby’s care at all.
It can be especially tough for dads who are often forced to return to work while their baby is still in a neonatal unit. That’s why Bliss has long been calling on the Government to give both dads and mums an extra paid week off work for every week their baby is in neonatal care, to ensure the best outcomes for babies, families and employers.
We know many dads find it really difficult to talk about their feelings and often experience a sense of guilt when separated from their partner and baby. At Bliss, we’re keen to let all dads know that our services are there for them too, whether they need information or support while their baby is in neonatal care.
For more information visit www.bliss.org.uk/dont-forget-dads