Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Money is Too Tight to Mention - Having a Baby in Special Care

Having a baby in hospital is expensive. Today I am sharing our experience, and a new survey from Bliss about this important issue. 

I kept lists when I was expecting Joseph. We had a little savings account which was just recovering after our wedding. I made lists of all the things we would need to buy - pram, cot, bedding, clothes, bouncy chair, bath....

Suddenly my pregnancy ended at 27 weeks. And so did my salary. The additional 10 weeks of savings I thought we would accumulate did not happen.

When a baby is born so prematurely you are very grateful, to your care providers, the doctors, the nurses, and you do what it takes to get through. But make no mistake, having a baby in special care is not only frightening, challenging and stressful, it is also expensive.

I had to pay £5.60 a day in bus fares, and this was for my nearest local unit. If we had been transferred to a level 3 it would have been dearer again, as I would have needed a tram.  Drinks were an additional £2-6 daily, with meals another £5-10. We had no access to a parent fridge and this was the height of summer. With the travel and the expressing I just didn't have the time or energy to prepare drinks and pack lunches.

After Joseph left intensive care, we had 6 weeks of nappy buying. I found this very frustrating. I was overjoyed to be buying him nappies, but dismayed that the micro nappies were dearer than newborn nappies. They never were included on the 3 for 2 offers. A pack of micro nappies varies between £3.75 and £5.81 depending on where you shop. When you are short of time, you haven't got the energy or resources to shop around.

If you are driving additional fuel costs and car parking in hospitals can be crippling. Some hospitals offer help with car parking but by no means all. For many mothers, having a caesarean means that they are unable to drive anyway.

Bliss are committed to campaigning on this issue but we need your help.

Please fill out this survey, it will take around 20 minutes of your time, and will help Bliss collate information to further illustrate the costs to families.

Thank you for your help.

If you are a blogger we would love your help in highlighting this issue. Please contact me to find out how you can help.


  1. Oh my gosh yes! When Ethan was in PICU we spent £1000's on travel, supplies and everything else. It was another one of those unexpected expenses!

  2. It is completely shocking that they're allowed to charge more for micro nappies! I didn't know that and it's surely completely unfair and should be changed.

  3. I guess as a private company the nappy company involved can do what they like in terms of charging and would consider it a commercial matter, specialist product etc.

    It is unfair though, and they're only available in small packs. Even using the cheapest price for micronappies they are almost 2p dearer than newborn nappies.

  4. And PICU is a whole different ball game. Hospitals are just money traps

  5. It's one of the many things you'd hope the NHS would be able to provide but its been butchered so :(
    I imagine the manufacturers assume they won't be needed for long but it's clearly proven not to be the case. As if even more additional costs are needed!

  6. Some hospitals do provide them, and I think in the case of hardship most would, but it is really frustrating. I wonder if its worth a polite "please explain" letter to the manufacturers?

  7. I think it is you know, I'm sure they'd have their excuses but you never know, they might never have considered it from the perspective of a parent...

  8. I found the micro nappies were difficult to find as well - not stocked in every shop, and only one brand so basically no choice over what or where you buy.

    Posts like this make me feel so lucky that S was only in hospital for 2 weeks, and that I was kept in with her - so I had meals provided and didn't have to worry about travel. I don't know about your local hospital, but here I think driving and paying to park can be more expensive than catching the bus.

  9. Ah, see this is what I mean about every hospital being different. Ours provided subsidies for parking, so that used to do my head in, that if I drove I would get my parking free, and felt penalised by taking the bus. Having said that there was never anywhere to park, and there was a bus stop at the door to the unit.

    Please fill out the survey if you haven't because its great to hear positive stories too, and not every hospital will accommodate parents for two weeks, so examples of best practice are good to share too.

  10. Good news - asda and tesco do own brand micro nappies. A massive difference in the three years between having my two premmies. Tesco had a long time of having them on promotion when Little Man needed them - two packs for £4. Progress indeed!


    Professional trading signals sent to your mobile phone every day.

    Start following our trades NOW & gain up to 270% per day.

  12. If you want your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend to come crawling back to you on their knees (even if they're dating somebody else now) you need to watch this video
    right away...

    (VIDEO) Win your ex back with TEXT messages?