Car gift boost for early babies
NEW mums will enjoy more regular visits to their premature babies thanks to a new, free courier service.
Blood Bikes NICU Support has been donated a car by Audi and The Blue Group, which they will use to pick up mums from across the Bristol area from July 2.
Currently, the volunteer service collects breast milk and takes it to the neo-natal intensive care units at Southmead and St Michael's hospitals to feed premature babies who can be there for months before they are healthy enough to go home. The new car will allow mums to get a lift to see and feed their children more often.
Initially, it will cater for parents of the 30 or so babies at Southmead NICU, before hopefully being extended to help St Michael's.
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Blood Bikes volunteer Mike Burns said a pilot of the service in April was a great success.
"I cannot think of anything more stressful than a mother giving birth prematurely and the two of them being separated.
"During the pilot, one of the mums from Clevedon was so excited every time we went to pick her up."
The 52-year-old from Chew Magna added: "Often, mothers will have had a C-section so they will be unable to drive for six weeks. It can be 15 weeks before a baby is allowed home and with dads back at work after two weeks mums can have problems getting to NICU regularly.
"This car is fantastic news for Blood Bikes."
The car drivers will also be volunteers and so far businesses TC Office from Bradley Stoke and CCT from Abbey Wood are both onboard.
For more information visit www.milkbank.org.uk or www.facebook.com/nicusupport.