Parents who have suffered a sudden and unexpected death of a baby often feel anxious when they have another baby. Working with the NHS and Local Authorities we facilitate a service for bereaved parents. The Care of Next Infant (CONI) programme supports families before and after the birth of their new baby. CONI is available through many hospitals and community health centres and involves health visitors, midwives, paediatricians and GPs. Unfortunately CONI is not available everywhere.
Through CONI, parents may:
- receive regular home visits from their health visitor, so they can talk freely about any worries and seek advice
- borrow movement monitors which pick up movements as the baby breathes, and will ring an alarm if movements stop for longer than 20 seconds
- receive training on basic life support so parents will know what to do if their baby stops breathing
- keep a symptom diary to record their baby’s health, which they can then discuss with their health visitor
- use the Baby Check booklet or App to help to decide when to get medical help for their baby
- monitor their baby’s growth with a detailed weight chart to detect changes that may mean baby should be checked by a doctor, receive a room thermometer and guidance on bedding and clothing
- receive a ‘baby passport’ so that if the parents’ are worried that their baby is unwell, they can be seen quickly by the right person
CONI PLUS offers similar help to other families who may have special reason to be anxious about their baby. They may, for example:
- be close relatives (sibling, aunt or uncle) of a baby that has died suddenly and unexpectedly
- have lost a baby to causes other than sudden infant death
- have a baby who has experienced an apparent life threatening event
CONI is currently available in many centres in England, Wales, Northern Ireland. Each centre has a local co-ordinator who will discuss with parents the support available and put this in place.
The scheme is usually offered for 6 months after the baby is born but may be longer depending on the individual circumstances. For further details about CONI and the availability of CONI or CONI PLUS in your area, please contact The Lullaby Trust 0808 802 6869 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
“Following the death of Joe, when I fell pregnant with Alfie I was obviously delighted, but extremely anxious. The CONI scheme was a tremendous support. I couldn’t have coped without it.” – Tracey, South London