Sunday, April 26, 2015

10 Tips For New Preemie Moms

Becoming a first-time mom is scary, exciting and stressful in and of itself, and that's without the extra fears and frustrations that come with having a baby that's not in a state of "normal" health. Not only did I give birth to our baby prematurely, but she was also growth restricted, making her even smaller and more delicate than other babies her age and size. I wouldn't trade the experience for anything in the world, but having fellow mommies who had experienced similar situations were a lifesaver for me. Which got me thinking, why not share just a bit of my advice on not only becoming a mommy but becoming the mother of a small, preemie baby girl? Setting our IUGR diagnosis aside, let's take a peek at 10 tips for new preemie moms and some advice that got me through. 

1. Don't Feel Guilty: Whatever the reason for having your baby prematurely, there's a certain amount of guilt involved. Is this my fault? Why did my body fail? Could I have done something better? Don't feel guilty for having a premature baby and don't feel guilty about leaving your baby if she/he has to spend some time in the NICU. Remember, these decisions that your doctor made or will be making are for the baby and your best interest. The sooner the hard stuff is over comes the fun adventures. There's a silver lining to it all. 

2. Swaddle, Swaddle, Swaddle: When the nurses in the hospital are teaching you how to swaddle. Pay attention! Most babies love being all curled up, warm and cozy ... but that goes double for premature peanuts. Remember, they're still supposed to be in your tummy!

3. Utilize the Time at Home: Pay attention to our 1st bit of advice and if you leave the hospital before your little one does, utilize the time. Catch up on as much sleep as possible and get your home ready. More so than not, your premature delivery wasn't scheduled and a lot of have-to's weren't checked off the list before your little one came into the world. Get meals ready, clean house and finish getting the nursery prepared. It'll keep your mind off of things and you'll feel better knowing baby is coming home to a refreshed space.

4. Don't compare: There's a big possibility your premature baby will not hit the "normal" milestones. And that's okay! That doesn't mean your baby will be "behind," it just means his/her body needs a little more time to catch up and get stronger. 

5. Find Support: From online support groups to apps like MomCo, you can find your very own community of mommies that can help lift you up, give you advice and sympathize with your situation. And what's great about MomCo is the fact that you can find fellow moms local to you, create play dates and begin friendships with those that have been in similar situations and understand what you're going and been through, and the simple fact that you're a mommy now and your life has completely changed.

6. Do Your Shopping Research: Some products just don't work for extra small babies and some work a lot better. Check out my list of must-have's for some ideas. From nipples that move with the baby's head to bibs that catch it all ...

7. Visit These Sites: Shoppings, tips and more can be found right here.

8. Try To Shrug It Off: There will be comments. Everyone gets them. Claire is only 4 months old and I have several stories of outright rude and nosy strangers coming up to us in public. Shake them off and, as I said previously, try not to compare your baby to a friend's, family member's or those in the supermarket. Just enjoy and do the best you can for your little one.

9. Stick With A Routine: This goes for all babies, but especially little ones that need even more guidance and warmth. Stick with routines. From bedtime to bath time, create tradition within your home that both you and your partner can follow. Eventually your baby will know what to expect without being scared or fussy. Instead. they feel a sense of security and comfort.

10. Ask Questions: Have your doctor's office, doctor, nurse hotline and even your health insurance's phone number in your phone. Even if you think it's a silly question, you'll feel better by knowing the answers. My husband and I called the hospital nurse hotline twice the night we got home and several more times in the first weeks. It was nice to be able to get instant relief and information.

Check out our birth story here!

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  1. I love this sage advice for moms for have (had) a preemie. I will be sharing with my mom friends!

  2. Great advice for moms! I love when you stated utilize the time at home and shrug it off. There's really not enough time during the day once you become a parent!


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