The National Sleep Foundation is celebrating its annual Sleep Awareness Week March 6th through March 13th, to raise awareness for the health benefits of sleep and its importance to safety and productivity. If there’s one thing new parents (and parents of preemies) have in common it is lack of sleep. A 2014 study showed that new moms were still sleep deprived after eighteen weeks of giving birth. There are hoards of articles with sleep tips for parents and recommendations for how many hours of sleep babies and toddlers need, but what if they don’t help? [Read more]
When my son was about a week old, a very patient and wise NICU nurse encouraged me to change my son’s diaper for the first time. I will never forget how my hands shook as we maneuvered wires to delicately dab his tiny bottom with a cotton ball. I have no doubt she could have completed the task in less than a minute, but she took the extra ten minutes to help me have that important bonding experience with my son. It was the first time I truly took part in his daily care. And in many ways, it was our first bonding experience. The hug I had been waiting for. [Read more]
Some time passes slowly in the NICU; some time flies by. It’s okay to distract yourself during these long days, weeks, or even months. [Read more]
by Dawn K. Gibson, LCSW
When you initially became pregnant, birthing your baby and having him or her whisked away to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) by hospital staff was most likely not in your plan.
Many parents know that bonding after childbirth is important for both parents and baby, and you may have had some ideas about what this meant to you. You might have visualized yourself holding your baby right after the birth, looking into his or her eyes lovingly, or just lying skin-to-skin for a time. No matter what your vision, the reality of birthing a medically fragile infant is typically very different from these images. You may not have been able to hold, let alone touch, your baby right away and you may now be worried that you have lost a major opportunity to bond with your baby. Please know that this is not true. There are many other ways to bond with your baby – even during his or her NICU stay. [Read more]
By Deborah Dinsmoor, RN, BSN – Nurse Educator at St. David’s Women’s Center of Texas Communication is important in all aspects of life, but it is vitally important when your baby is admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Families are under tremendous stress – stress that is magnified if you feel ill-equipped to understand […]