Getting to know your baby

The birth of a premature or sick newborn can be an overwhelming and traumatic experience for your family. You might be coming to terms with your baby’s birth, or be feeling powerless or anxious that your role as a parent has been diminished, while medical professionals provide the majority of care. You may even struggle with bonding in such a foreign and intense environment.
Most parents feel a little nervous or apprehensive when caring for their new baby, even when they are born healthy at full-term, but after the birth of a premature or sick newborn these anxious feelings may be intensified.

At first, you may be hesitant to get involved in your baby’s care due to their size or medical condition; however, you can both benefit immensely from contact and bonding.

Try not to feel rushed or pressured to participate in your baby’s care. Do things in your own time and talk to your baby's nurse about ways in which you can participate. Your baby's nurses can show you ways to care for your baby, which might include changing their nappies, cleaning their mouth or choosing their clean clothes. Staff are there to not only care for your baby, but also to answer your questions and help you build your confidence.

"I was too scared to touch my baby – I sat there looking at him through the humidicrib for two days before I could muster up the courage to touch him."

– Naomi Rohr, mum to Caden born at 29+2 weeks and Eli born at 25+4 weeks

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