Preemie mum, there’s a lot I could tell you; so much I’d like you to know.
I’ve been there, a NICU mum; sat in a state of shock beside the incubator. So I know that the last thing you need is more information or ‘helpful’ advice when all you really want is answers…
Why did this happen? What could I have done? When will I hold my baby? Will my milk come in? Am in pumping enough? Will I bring my baby home? When will my baby leave hospital? Will they be okay?
These are the questions that fill your mind as you get to grips with the world of neonatal care, and as much as I’d like to, I simply cannot answer the most important ones and sadly the answers to some of those questions are never known.
What I can tell you though (and believe me when I say it’s just as important) is this –
- Take time to notice the little things; with emotions running high you can miss precious moments. Remember the feel of your babies hand as they grip your finger tightly or the shape of their tiny features.
- You are not alone. There is a community of parents who have been before you and will be ready to support and advise. Wonderful staff will help you through the most difficult days and your baby will become your strength.
- We are ALL mothers. To those who have lost babies we will always remember them and say their name.
- Please let others know how you’re feeling. It can be scary to share your emotions, but by letting friends and family know your thoughts they can empathise and better support you.
- Ask for practical help. People may ask ‘what can I do to help’ and you may like to share our top ten list of ways to help prem parents in hospital.
- Mum knows best. Yes, it’s true! You know your baby better than anyone. Never forget that or be afraid to speak up.
- Take time to rest. Yes, I know! It’s easier said than done, but really it is so important for both you and baby.
- Be preemie proud! Oh so proud! You will see your baby accomplish things that most parents will never experience. Your baby is learning to breath, learning to co-ordinate their suck reflex and is developing right in front of your eyes. How amazing is that?!
- Preemie mum, know this – you are amazing!
- Preemie mum, remember this – you are doing great x
If you believe that mothers & premature babies need more time together after neonatal intensive care please take a look at our PETITION to extend maternity leave for mothers of babies born too soon – https://goo.gl/KeLrVv
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