After the whole pregnancy experience and all the ups and downs that come with it, every parent heart’s desire is to finally go home with his or her healthy baby. However, this may not happen as expected. As hard and emotional as it may be, it is good to always prepare one’s mind for such outcomes in life while hoping that everything will turn out well.
Having said that, there are ways in which you can prepare yourselves as parents so as to deal with a preemie baby and the challenges that come with it. Well, here are 6 important ways which will make this experience much more bearable.
6 ways to cope up with parenting a premature baby
#1. Do not bottle up your emotions
To start with, it is good to know that your emotions will be on a roller coaster. There are moments you will feel grateful and hopeful and on others you will be in so much despair and frustration. The most important thing during this time is to express your feelings to the medical personnel with you. Also, let your family and friends know what you are feeling. Do not isolate yourself at this moment no matter how hard it may feel.
#2. Expect more questions than congratulatory notes
As family, friends, neighbors and colleagues learn of the early arrival of your baby, expect more questions from them. Although they could be aware of the situation, they will ask lots of questions just out of concern on the well-being of your baby. Try not to let their questions discourage or irritate you but answer them honestly. If you were in their shoes, you would probably do the same.
After all goes well and you finally get to go home, you can arrange a homecoming or a thanksgiving just to let everybody know that you have pulled through alright.
#3. Prepare to leave your baby at the hospital for sometime
Leaving your baby behind when you finally get discharged from the hospital is one of the biggest challenges that you will have to overcome. However, look at this painful experience positively. You will get some time to recover, rest and re-energize which will be the best thing your little bundle of joy can have at this moment. You must be in your best and strong for your baby and the whole family as well.
#4. As parents, be there for each other
Assuming that both parents are present in the little baby’s life, supporting each other during this hard time will go a long way. When one parent is down, the strength of the other will keep them going. Open and effective communication at this time will be invaluable as it will reduce the stress levels in the relationship that will be brought about by parenting a premature baby.
#5. Get encouragement from other parents with a premature baby
Another way in which you can graciously cope with parenting a preemie baby is by drawing encouragement from other parents who have walked this journey before you. By listening to their real life experiences and how they managed, you will understand that you are not alone.
Reach out to other parents in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) support group and encourage each other as you trend on this uncertain but possible scary journey.
#6. Self love will go a long way
Once in a while, take a break and don’t feel guilty about it. The physical and mental exhaustion experienced by parents of a preemie baby can be devastating. It can also lead to health issues that can make the whole situation far more worse than it is.
Go for a day or night out with your partner. Enjoy a meal at your friends’ place or take a walk in your favorite park just to relax and re-energize. Your best selves is what your baby needs right now. No more, no less.
With the above tips you can walk this journey with strength and hope knowing that all will be well for you and your baby. Soon, you will look back and cherish every moment you have been thorough not because it was all fun and jolly but because you all overcame.