Zoe Saldana felt helpless after giving birth to her twin sons prematurely last November.

The 37-year-old actress, who has 10-month-old baby boys Cy and Bowie with artist husband Marco Perego, admits she struggled to cope when they were immediately placed in the neonatal intensive care unit at a Los Angeles hospital.

The 'Avatar' star said: ''When I was in the neonatal intensive care unit with my two sons, I became like every parent that was on that floor. My husband and I were at the mercy of our nurses and doctors -- our children's lives depended on their every move.''

The 'Guardians of the Galaxy' star recently decided to get involved with Brave Beginnings, a non-profit organisation that helps ensure hospitals have access to the life-saving equipment needed to help premature babies thrive, as a result of her experience.

She told PEOPLE magazine: ''When children are born prematurely, they don't just need to be held, they need assistance breathing, feeding and going to the bathroom. They also need incubators to protect them while they're forming immune systems.

''This equipment can mean the difference between life and death for a child, that's just the truth. If a child can't breathe and doesn't have the equipment to help him breathe we can't help him with our own hands.''

Zoe feels lucky her sons are now thriving and thinks all premature babies should receive the same high levels of care.

She said: ''I went through it. I was there. I was a parent and my children were the ones that benefitted from having excellent services from the hospital. And I want that for every parent. I want that for every child.''