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World Prematurity Day 17th November - Always a NICU Mum - Theory Test 3 with Ickle Pickle Charity founder Rachael

Since 2009, the Ickle Pickles children’s charity has been raising money for the intensive care equipment that treats these babies and helps to keep them alive. Ickle Pickles are the smallest and sickest babies who need intensive care in neonatal units 

Ickle Pickles can be a full term babies (40 weeks) requiring treatment or surgery or more likely babies born prematurely (before 37 weeks). Babies born before 27 weeks are classed as extremely premature and it is often these tiniest babies who need the most help

To date the charity has bought equipment for over 50 neonatal units around the UK and this number grows every year.  

As part of our commemoration of World Prematurity Monday, we interviewed Ickle Pickle founder Rachael Marsh, Mum to now 13 year old and original Ickle Pickle Charlie, if she believed Once a NICU Mum, always a NICU Mum. 

What gestation did your baby arrive and what weight was he?
Charie was born at 28+2 weeks and weighed 2lb 4oz
Which NICU did you stay in and for how long?
St George’s, SW London for 86 days
Did you have any scary moments?
Oh yes! Brain bleeds and the waiting game for them to heal.
Did friends and family understand your situation?
Friends and family didn’t understand but certainly tried their best to and were incredibly sympathetic 
Do you look back on the time fondly or with pain/anxiety?
We look back on our NICU time quite fondly as the staff were amazing and our son progressed fairly well through each stage. The smell of the hand gel and the beeping of the alarms will never leave me though 
How did your NICU experience shape or change your life personally if at all?  
We set up the Ickle Pickles Charity to give something back for the care our son received and it is now my full time job so yes it certainly has changed my life 
How do you feel when you hear about/meet other parents of premature babies?
Meeting other NICU parents is like being part of an exclusive club… you got to meet your baby earlier than most (if they were prem) and see their strength and passion to fight for life. You can engage with these parents on another level and easily slip into NICU jargon which others wouldn’t understand.
I’m forever proud of what my son has been through.

Your thoughts on ''Once a NICU Mum always a NICU Mum’?

Once a NICU mum always a NICU mum is so very true. The feelings and memories never leave you. 



We'd like to thank Rachael for giving up her time for the interview and congratulate her for all that she and her charity have achieved.  What a wonderful legacy for Charlie, he must be so very proud of what he has inspired.  

For more information, to donate, become an ambassador or friend of ickle pickles please visit their wonderful website and follow them on instagram @icklepickles_charity



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