Tips for Mothering Premature Babies and Twins
When you have delivered a premature baby or twins/multiples, you face a whole new set of challenges. Many mothers contact me when they are overwhelmed by these kinds of “parenting plus” issues. They feel unprepared and are have few resources from the hospital or community.
It is very important to reach out for psychological support before you become completely stressed out from trying to cope with these new life transitions. Your babies pick up on your anxiety and tension and react accordingly, which can become a vicious cycle. If you consciously self calm and relax, you can begin to relieve their stress as well as your own.
Many of these babies are themselves traumatized from having so many intrusive and disturbing medical interventions. Crying may be their way to express the hurt and pain. By talking directly to them about what happened and acknowledge their feelings, you can help them let go.
It’s easy for a mother to become so focused on medical issues, nutrition, and other basics that they overlook the need to nurture their babies emotionally. Here are some tips:
- Soothe, rock and hold your baby.
- Provide lots of skin-to-skin contact to relax the baby.
- Slow down all interactions with the baby(ies), as their immature systems cannot integrate well. Do not over-stimulate them.
- Avoid sleep schedule training; these children especially need to feel attached and comforted. Some irritability and sleep disturbances are normal for these babies.
- Sing to your baby, play music, interact, read stories and play.
- Spend extra time just connecting and being together.
These ideas will help you ease your children into the world, while sustaining your emotional balance and composure during a stressful time.