Five tips for bonding with your baby in the NICU
Our Grapevine obgyns want you to know more about bonding with your baby in the NICU. After your delivery, your baby may need to go to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for reasons that include preterm birth or problems that occur in the hours or days after your baby is born.
Five ideas for bonding with your baby in the NICU
When you’re pregnant, you envision bonding with your baby in your hospital room. Bonding with your baby in the NICU may not be what you hoped for, but it can be a special time for both you and your baby.
Here are five tips from our Grapevine obgyns to help you bond with your baby if a NICU stay is required.
1. Visit the NICU and get to know the staff.
The NICU staff members are knowledgeable and always willing to answer questions about equipment and treatment plans. The more you visit, the more comfortable you will be in the NICU.
2. Hold or touch your baby if possible.
Holding your baby is one way of bonding with your baby in the NICU, but there are other ways. Gently stroke your baby’s skin, maintain eye contact and sing or talk to your baby. It may be possible for you to engage in kangaroo care by maintaining skin-to-skin contact with your baby.
3. Feed your baby.
Some babies in the NICU can be breastfed and others can be bottle-fed with your pumped breast milk. You can also pump breast milk and save it for your baby. Talk to the NICU staff about feeding and bonding with your baby in the NICU.
4. Bring some personal items in for your baby.
You may be able to place a picture or stuffed animal outside of your baby’s incubator. Some mothers wear an item of clothing so that it bears their unique scent, and then they place it near the baby.
5. Take care of yourself.
It’s easy to forget about self-care when you are concerned about your baby, but bonding with your baby in the NICU is best when you are healthy and rested.