Handling the emotions that come with a premature baby.

You and Your Premature Baby

This section addresses the emotional aspect of being a mum to a premature baby and offers advice on how to cope through this emotional time.

When your baby arrives earlier than expected you may feel scared at the same time joyful and also overwhelmed. You experience a roller coaster of emotions.

Some of the emotions felt by the parent of a preemie:

  • Guilty
  • Traumatized
  • Frightened
  • Shocked
  • Angry
  • Powerless
  • Intense love for your baby
  • Reluctant to go home with your baby
  • Confused
  • Deep longing to be with your baby

Keep a journal. Write down your fears, joys and experiences. Your written thoughts become memories.

Talk to someone. Identify someone who is easy to talk to and tell them what you feel. This may be a friend, partner or even a counsellor. It is comforting to talk about it

Accept help from others. Family, friends and neighbours will want to offer their help and support at this time. Do not shut them out. Identify a relative or a close friend who will pass along messages on your behalf if you feel you are ready to talk to anyone just yet.

Get enough rest and sleep. Remember you are an important part of your baby's care therefore it is important that you are conscious of the stress your body holds and get enough rest.

Get involved in the baby's care. Ask all of the questions you can think of about your baby's care and condition. There are no dumb questions. If you feel confused by what is going on, try to have someone else with you (your spouse, your own parent, or a friend) when you ask questions. This may clarify your understanding.

Spend as much time as you can with your baby. Your soothing touch is important to your baby. If it is appropriate to do so, hold your baby's hand as they feed even if they are feeding through the tubes. Practising skin-to-skin contact will strengthen the bond between you and your baby and make you feel more confident as a parent.