Caring for a newborn is hard enough, but a premature child presents a whole new set of challenges. The stress and anxiety during those first days is nearly unbearable and it takes at least a year for you to feel comfortable again. When you need information or a sympathetic ear, use these tips to find support.
1. Find a local support group
Check in with your hospital or pediatrician’s office for names of local support groups for parents of premature babies — chances are there’s at least one in your area. The advantages of meeting with a regular group are endless: You can bounce ideas off each other, share preemie tips, and ask questions that you think no one else will understand. You (and your preemie) may even make some life-long friends.
2. Keep in touch with NICU neighbors
Premature babies usually require extensive hospital stays. Moms and dads tend to both with one another as they meander around the hospital while visiting their child. It’s a tough time for everyone, so by all means lean on them for support. Once you leave the hospital, keep in touch with these people as they’ll likely work through the same challenges as you both care for your early children.
3. Connect with people online
The Internet is a great place for parents to get together and talk about the issues they face. If you have a premature baby, you’ll probably find yourself with a question at two in the morning. Fortunately there are plenty of social media groups and forums to query.
4. Keep up with preemie issues
Many of the developmental challenges preemies face can be overcome if mom and dad stay informed and be proactive. Educate yourself about the obstacles you’ll likely face. Ask parents with premature babies how parenting differed versus their full-term children. Keep your eyes open for any programs designed specifically for premature children.
5. Don’t forget your marriage or relationship
The intense bouts of anxiety and worry that overtake parents as they watch their little ones grow in an incubator can change a person. Many parents of preemies suffer from depression and event post-traumatic stress disorder. After weeks of emotional visits to the NICU and months caring for a fragile child, don’t forget about your spouse. Look to one another for comfort and address those emotional needs.
Written by Christine Barlow, Inventor of 5 Phases Eco-Friendly Baby Bottle System
Mom Christine Barlow is the inventor of 5 Phases eco-friendly and non-toxic baby bottles, the safest and healthiest way to bottle feed your baby. Her inspiration in creating an alternative to traditional feeding bottles came after the birth of her 1lb 7oz micro-preemie baby. Having a compromised child, she became aware how environmental factors were affecting our children. With all the concerns of plastics and infants being the most vulnerable, she felt there was a need for more options for parents who wanted to use glass. She knew she had to act – and the 5 Phases Hybrid Glass Baby Bottles were born.
5 Phases is dedicated to helping families achieve a healthier and organic lifestyle. Starting with baby, they develop products keeping both the environment and health of your family in mind. And when it comes to your baby nothing else will do – Christine knows, she’s a mom too!
For more information on 5 Phases, visit www.5phases.com!
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