Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Nurses in NICU
The nurses in NICU are wonderful sources of help and information for you.  If you spend time getting to know the nurse who is caring for your baby, she will give you insight into what goes on with your child while you are unable to be in the nursery.  She may call you and give you updates and this helps you to feel the continued closeness to your baby when you are not physically there.  Nurses are trained in all sorts of health care and can be valuable sources of available resources that can help you once you bring your baby home from the hospital.  Such as where to rent a breast pumb, purchasing preemie supplies like clothing or pacifiers.  Sometimes you need to bring the small bottles and nipples home for your preemie baby and hopefully your hospital can provide these for you.  Your nurse can give you ideas about what is available through the hospital.  She can become one of your best sources of information and comfort for you and your baby.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

MUSIC THERAPY
Music therapy such as pacifier activated lullabies, multimodal stimulation, and developmentally appropriate music listening is being shown in hospitals to help reduce the length of hospital stays, increase an infants stimulation tolerance and enhance parent-infant bonding.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Questions?

I would like to hear from you in the form of comments or questions that I can help you with.  If you have anything that you are struggling with or just wondering about, then please ask me.  Believe me, there are many people who are likely to have the same concern and could also be helped by reading about it on this page. 
Life in the NICU
I spent 7 weeks in the NICU with my oldest child.  The first time that I had to leave the hospital without her to go home was certainly the hardest day of my life.  I think that I learned what life really meant during that long moment.  For all of us who have gone through this or are going through this hardship right now, we all share an understanding of strong the bond of love is.  How can we make this time more comfortable, well, I used to call the hospital frequently during the day just to get updates on my preemie babies progress. I kept a journal of my thoughts while I had to be home.  I had to wait for rides to the hospital since I had had a c-section and was not able to drive for 6 weeks.  That was a surprise that I found out upon having to check out of the hospital.
I don't think that there is anything that makes this time go by faster or easier.  The relationships with the nurses in NICU are a treasure because they can give you extensive information on taking care of your preemie once you are home with your baby.  They also tell you stories about the daily occurances in the nursery, which can make you feel more connected to the environment where your baby must stay temporarily.
Milestones
Our babies are born early and we cannot look at the average infant and toddler timeline milestones.  If we do, it can be very frustrating and scarey.  My oldest was born at 4lbs, 8 1/2 weeks early.  Therefore, I usually adjusted her milestone dates back by at least two months.  So when she began to sit up around 9 months, which may seem late to many people, she was actually right on time.  By this time she had been smiling and laughing for a couple of months.
Preemies may do things that are alarming to us, such as looking away.  With all of the literature these days regarding autism, it can be a concern to us.  But, preemies have this in common as a result of their premature developed nervous system.  Sometimes they need to gaze away just to comfort themselves from becoming overstimulated.  They will eventually grow out of this behavior as their nervous system develops.
It is important to hold them close as often as we can which will enhance the development of their nervous system.

Comfort from blankies

Preemie babies may have to stay in the hospital for day or weeks depending on their birth weight and on their medical status.  One thing that I found was very helpful was to bring in a soft cloth diaper that I would put on my shoulder while I held my baby and rocked her.  This diaper would pick up a scent from me and would give her comfort while I was there in the neo natal section of the hospital with her.  If the hospital allows it, then the cloth diaper can be left with the baby during times when parents cannot be in the nursery.  I believe that this gives our babies comfort and a sense of attachment while they must stay in the hospital.  Once they leave the hospital, then the diaper may become their favorite snuggly.  This was the experience with my daughters.  They found comfort through toddlerhood from these blankies.  Whenever I wasn't right there, they were able to snuggle up to the blanket for a nap or bedtime.