The Expressing Room

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20180319

Fi Glover joins mothers expressing milk for their premature babies in hospital.

Fi Glover goes behind closed doors of the Expressing Room at Evelina London Children's Hospital, meeting the mothers of Britain's growing numbers of severely premature babies.

"The Milk of Human Kindness," reads the mural on its wall. The Expressing Room is an intimate and private place where mothers from every background go to express milk for their babies, many of whom will require prolonged periods in hospital. Often, the mothers cannot hold their incubated babies so the expressing room becomes the only place where they feel a part of their child's care.

While expressing, mothers often share their hopes and fears. Everyone in the room knows that some babies will not survive.

Using special access agreed through the Neonatal Unit at the Evelina London Children's Hospital, Fi joins the mothers to hear them share their stories.

This is a room with a story that is becoming more and more common. Older mothers or women using fertility treatments are much more likely to have premature babies. In the UK, around 60,000 babies are born prematurely each year. Globally, more than 1 in 10 pregnancies will end in a preterm birth.

Music composition: Camilo Tirado.
Producer Sarah Cuddon
A Somethin' Else production for BBC Radio 4.