This one goes out to all the mamas who received an early package.
Here are Greendigo’s Top 6 Tips on shedding the emotional baggage and coping with a premature birth.
Have clarity on the care
A premature baby in the NICU may need to undergo a variety of tests. This could include monitoring breathing, tracking fluid intake, observing calcium and blood sugar levels, and more. While some tests are ongoing, others are only conducted if the NICU staff deem it necessary. As a parent of a preemie, you should have clarity on all procedures. Knowing what treatment your baby is having will minimise uncertainty and keep anxiety at bay.
Talk through fears and apprehensions with the medical team
In line with the previous thought, the more you know, the less you fear. Or at the very least, the more you understand a situation, the fewer things you have to worry about. Raise your concerns, clear your doubts, ask any and every question, and talk through each stage of the preemie NICU stay. If need be, you will be put in touch with a support team at the hospital.
Avail of tips for coping when your baby is in the NICU
There is a wealth of helpful information out there on how to cope mentally and emotionally when your baby is in the NICU. Ask your medical team to brief you on the same. Remember, emotional ups and downs are a part of the journey. It’s important to embrace those feelings and be patient during the recovery process. Lean on your partner for support as much as you would offer it to them.
Learn bonding techniques to help you connect with your preemie
Provide skin-to-skin contact whenever possible by holding your precious preemie against your bare chest. This is a proven way to help them gain weight faster and have a more stable heartbeat. Another way to engage with your baby includes talking and singing. It’s important that they hear your voice and get used to the sound. You can even take pictures to honour your baby’s first few weeks.
Join a support group for parents with premature babies
There’s nothing like leaning into a community. Getting in touch with parents who are navigating the same path as you can be therapeutic. After all, who else can relate better to what you’re experiencing? Gain wisdom and empathy from those who've gone through the motions themselves. Share your struggles and pain and come out of it stronger than before.
Consult a counsellor if you are experiencing postpartum depression
For those of you who are experiencing persisting postpartum blues, make sure to seek additional help. Contact your care provider if you’re feeling sad, anxious, and fatigued for a prolonged period of time. They will then put you onto a specialist who will give you the treatment you need.
Apart from the above, make sure to carve out some me-time.
Whether this entails exercising, reading, watching a movie, or practising yoga.
Anxiety can be alleviated by simply giving yourself some love and TLC.