The arrival of a new baby into the world is one of the most joyous times for parents but when a tot is born early it can be a matter of life or death.
This is where the 'NHS heroes' on the premature baby unit come to the rescue and quite simply save tiny lives.
We met up with the heroes on the neonatal unit at Burton's Queen's Hospital to find out what it is like saving those little lives day in day out.
There is a sense of calm on the neonatal unit at Burton's Queen's Hospital in Belvedere Road as the team work together to get premature babies fit and ready to spend those precious days with their adoring new families at home.
The tiny tots need calm as part of their development, which is what the team strive to achieve, but this can change in a heartbeat as there is always the chance another poorly, tiny baby may be born, which needs their urgent care.
Shelley Harrington, senior sister on the unit, has worked as a neonatal nurse for 15 years and just over two on this ward. She says she cannot imagine working anywhere else. The ward has 25 nurses in total who work 12 hours shifts, allowing the ward to offer 24-hour care.
The unit has 14 cots - one for intensive care and stabilisation of baby, two high dependency cots and 11 specialist cots. The most premature babies the unit in Burton deals with are ones born at 29 weeks, or six and a half months, when they can weight as little as three pounds - a bag of sugar weighs 2lbs.
Neonatal wards at hospitals up and down the country are arranged in levels from one to three, which correlates to the how premature the babies are that they deal with. Level one units deal with babies born at 29 weeks up to level three, which cares for babies born at less than 28 weeks, weighing less than 2lbs and in need of significant continuous positive airway pressure support and ventilation.
Burton is level one unit, which is the lowest category caring for babies who need continuous monitoring of their breathing or heart rate, additional oxygen tube feeding and phototherapy recovery, but the ward is ready for anything as they have a minimum of four nurses and at least two specialist nurses in neonatal care at all times.
Sister Harrington said: "The unit really can change from hour to hour. Some days all of our babies will be in special care and the unit will be calm and other days it is extremely busy as you never know when a premature baby is going to be born. You have to be ready with the intensive care element at all times.
"We will never turn a baby away.
"We are lucky as the trust is very supportive so if we are really busy then we will have more staff in on top of what we have. The youngest baby we have here is born at 29 weeks gestation, but we have had some babies which are born earlier than that. The edge of viability is 23 weeks depending on what care they need.
"If a baby is born at 24 weeks we can care for them because we have the equipment and the staff can stabilise them until a specialised transport unit can take them to specialist care elsewhere."
Working with tiny babies can be a dream come true but the lows can be extremely low as the babies on the ward can be very sick. The most common health issue for premature babies is the lungs as they are underdeveloped which leads to respiratory distress syndrome.
The earlier the baby is born the more severe the problems can be. This ranges from the baby needing oxygen for a few days to ventilation through the machine. The lungs are simply not ready as they should still be in-utero, which means they should still be in the womb.
The test to make sure they are ready to go home varies as care is baby and family-led but it tends to be roughly around the time they are due, she said. The nurses will make sure babies can maintain their own body temperature, they are putting on weight and have reached a good weight and they are feeding before they are allowed to go home.
If they have done all of this then they will look at sending the baby home. The team will plan for a baby's discharge from the time they are admitted to make sure that everything is ready for when they do leave to enjoy the start of family life.
Some babies are in the neonatal unit for as little as a few days, while others are in there for months as each baby is different and the time they stay depends on their needs.
Sister Harrington said: "I personally think that the positives outweigh the downside of working here. I have been working with children for 23 years and I cannot imagine doing anything else.
"It can be extremely stressful with some very poorly babies. Sadly we cannot always make the babies better, however much we want to. You do get involved and staff do get upset but if they ever lost that they are in the wrong job.
"There is nothing like looking after a premature baby and seeing them get to go home. We then have some of them come back for clinics and if you have had a bad day or a bad shift that is so rewarding to see how well they are doing.
"We are not just caring for the babies, we are here for the whole family. It is a very traumatic time for them so it is about supporting them as well.
"I am really proud of the team, especially with regarding the family care and we have been recognised by the NHS. The parent support group is amazing. It is ran by the neonatal nurses that work on the unit so they know the families. We have good staff that are giving that support when the baby is discharged - this is something very special to Burton.
"The NHS has said the other units should be doing this as it is really is a credit to the staff. These babies are not ready to be born in to the world yet so we promote a dark, calm and quiet environment which is much more suitable to try to reduce stress.
"What we do can have an impact on baby and the family for a long time so we want it to be positive. We are a really well supported team here and we really do give the best care we can.
"None of these families expect to have this happen to them. Sometimes they are here for months so we are a big part of the family life at the beginning. The staff do an amazing job."
One couple who have experienced the work of the ward first-hand are Alison Binfield and John Burn, of Rugeley, after their daughter Holly was born health problems. Little Holly was on the ward for a week and is now enjoying life in her new home.
Miss Binfield, 28, said: "They have made us feel comfortable. We have had to be in and out to sort out our three-year-old son but we have been happy to leave Holly with them. The difficult part is always leaving her. They are all really friendly here.
"It is a more relaxed atmosphere. We have got to know people here as well. They do not get enough credit for what they do. It is nice to see the staff come round and you can tell they are all very different. They always have time to chat to you."
Mr Burn, 32, said: "They have been brilliant, just fantastic. Nothing has been a problem for them. They have kept us updated on what is going on and they just come and relax with us when they can.
"We would like to say a massive thank you to the team and keep doing what you do. They deserve a medal, every one of them. They have made the hardest week bearable."
Dr Heather Carswell, a paediatric speciality doctor, is a regular face on the ward too as she makes any medical decision that needs to be made. She has worked at the hospital for nearly three years as she works on the neonatal and children's ward, seeing some of the children as they grow up.
Dr Carswell originally wanted to be a GP while she was doing her training as she did not want to work in a hospital environment but when she completed a placement on a paediatric ward she "fell in love with it".
She said: "I particularly enjoy working on the neonatal ward as it is so rewarding seeing the really tiny babies and then seeing them going home. You build a relationship with a lot of parents here as well. It is a lot more emotive working with kids.
"I usually get a hug at the end of the shift and it is very rare that I don't get a high five after taking bloods. A lot of the babies I do get to see coming back on to the children's ward and you already have that relationship with them. It is a great team here."
Premature baby facts
A premature baby is a newborn who makes an appearance before the 37th week of pregnancy, with eight out of 100 babies born prematurely.
Babies born before full term are vulnerable to problems associated with being born premature. The earlier in the pregnancy a baby is born, the more vulnerable they are.
According to Premature Babies, those born earlier than 23 weeks have a very small survival rate. At 23 weeks the survival rate is 15 per cent, babies born at 24 weeks have a 55 per cent survival rate while those born at 25 weeks or later survive 80 per cent of the time.
In England the survival rate for premature babies has increased from 53 per cent in 2006 to 80 per cent in 2011. However, children born at or before 27 weeks are more likely to experience some form of disability by the time they reach the age of six.
Amillia Taylor was one of the earliest premature babies, born at 21 weeks and six days - two weeks before the abortion cut off. When she was born she weighed less than 10oz and was just nine-and-a-half inches long, with skin which tore like rice paper. However, she survived the odds and is now 18 months old.