Interviews with 93 mothers of 109 low birthweight infants admitted to a regional neonatal intensive care unit showed that, although 82 (88%) mothers visited on a daily basis, some families faced considerable travelling difficulties. Five families travelled more than 100 miles and three families had twin siblings in different neonatal units. Analysis of the travelling and associated expenditure strongly indicates that the parents in most need received little or no help from the statutory authorities and only 26 (28%) families received financial help from any source. There emerges a strong case for offering appropriate financial help to parents on low incomes to facilitate visiting and increase family contact.
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