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What if my baby’s born early?

It can be a bit of a shock if your baby is born pre-term, but you’re not alone: more than 90,000 babies are born prematurely in the UK every year and are admitted to neonatal units.

When will I see my health visitor if my baby’s born prematurely?

Your health visitor is there to support you and your family on your parenting journey. They will still carry out your baby’s universal contacts just as if you were at home but instead may come and see you in the neonatal unit (NNU) or contact the neonatal unit for an update. Your health visitor can provide you with practical advice on a range of issues such as breastfeeding, safe sleeping and immunisations and also, along with hospital staff, emotional support or simply provide a listening ear for anything that maybe worrying or concerning you.

New parents can feel reassured and supported by a contact from their health visitor in those early days. Some parents said these contacts ‘helped them to feel normal’ and ‘encouraged them to breast feed’.

For more information about premature birth: 

  • NHS- Breastfeeding premature babies
  • Bliss – support and information for families who are experiencing or have experienced a baby in neonatal care. Bliss also run a UK-wide confidential telephone helpline: 0808 8010322

Page last reviewed: 25-01-2023

Next review due: 25-01-2026