The Winnicott Foundation has proudly funded the creation, maintenance and refurbishment of 15 parent bedrooms and one bereavement room across the two hospitals. St Mary’s Hospital is home to six parent bedrooms and Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital has nine parent bedrooms and a dedicated bereavement room.
By providing on-site accommodation, our parents are able to stay with their babies whilst they are being cared for on the neonatal unit, rather than travelling back and forth to the hospital. For parents whose babies spend months on the unit, this can become a temporary home for them.
These parent rooms not only greatly benefit the parents by reducing the stress of being separated from their babies, but it has also been highly beneficial for the babies.
Every parent ‘rooms in’ with their baby for a night or two before they go home, allowing them to get used to caring for their baby on their own. Taking a premature baby home for the first time after a stay in the neonatal unit can be quite stressful for parents, but allowing them to make this transition by solely caring for their babies initially with a team of nurses and doctors just down the corridor greatly reduces this stress and anxiety.
One parent says “Our boy was born 28 weeks early and spent 12 weeks at St Mary’s hospital and the Winnicott unit. When the time came to finally take him home we were both so happy but also terrified. He had a heart and kidney condition and also chronic lung disease which meant he came home on oxygen. The idea to give up the security of having nurses and doctors around him 24/7 was petrifying… We had the amazing opportunity to move into one of the parents’ room the Winnicott have and we spent two days looking after our boy ourselves but with the team one minute away if we had any questions or needed help. The difference this made and how much more in control my husband and I felt is invaluable. I was so happy to go home and really felt that I could do this! This would not have been the case without the help from the Winnicott Foundation and the time we spent in the parents’ room”