If your newborn is deemed medically fragile, the care staff will most likely whisk your baby away to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, or NICU. Even if you were expecting this, it is normal to feel stressed and scared.. There are many ways to participate in your infant’s care while in the NICU. This can help build the bond you and your child need. Let’s look at 4 ways to bond with your baby in the NICU.
Embrace Your Emotions in the Beginning
This will be a difficult time for you causing feelings of worry, anxiousness, and fear. Let all these emotions come out because they are perfectly normal. Seek the support you need and know that tomorrow will be another day. In the meantime, you can find solace in knowing your little one is getting the care they need.
Find out the parameters of care you can participate in. Stay near your child as much as possible. Let the baby see you and hear you. Talk to them, smile, and touch them whenever you can. Bonding with your baby will happen gradually, so don’t try to rush it. Just be nearby so you can take advantage of every opportunity.
Skin to Skin Always
Sometimes known as kangaroo care, holding your infant to your breast is the best way to bond. They know you— your smell, your voice, your heartbeat. It will be comforting for them and you.
It also keeps the baby warm and regulates stress levels for you both. You can breastfeed or bottle feed , touch little fingers and toes, sing, and make eye contact. Stroke and massage little areas of their body. Give dad a chance too.
When the time is right, you can do more even while your baby is in the NICU. If you are a bit frightened, check with a nurse to be sure you are doing things correctly. You can change your infant, but ask about disturbing any cords or tubes. Learn to take their temperature. Do as much as you can per the doctor and care staff.
This is the beginning of your life together, so rest assured, your baby will respond to bonding even in the NICU.
Contact Fairfax Neonatal Associates if you need support of any kind while your baby is in the NICU.