Tips for surviving an extended stay at the hospital with your baby
Having a baby is a joyous time but it can also be very stressful staying in the hospital where people are consistently in and out poking and prodding to make sure you and your little one are getting everything you need. After two days, you are ready to go home. For some mothers and babies, the stay needs to be longer. That was the case with Alicia who had a baby born ten weeks earlier than he should have been. For Alicia and her family, those early ten weeks forced her to be in the hospital much longer than she thought she would be. Mason was born weighing in at 3 pounds 6 ounces at 30 weeks gestation. He was not ready for the outside world yet and his parents Matt and Alicia were in for quite an adventure. Mason would stay in the hospital for 42 days getting the care he needed to be able to grow and eventually be able to go home. In any extended stay at the hospital there are things you can do to make the most of the experience.
Tip 1: Stay focused on the end result
No matter what kind of day you are having, you must remember that you will not be at the hospital forever. Although there are days when your baby is not doing so well or you are experiencing setbacks that you think you may never leave the hospital, but you will and just keep that in mind will help you pass through each day.
Tip 2: Take time for yourself
It is so important in any situation when you are caring for another person be it a little one in the NICU or a sick child, to make sure you take time for yourself even if it is only ten minutes. Having another person to help you take care of your little one so you can grab a cup of coffee, or take a shower will help you to recharge for the day.
Tip 3: Get to know the steps of good hygiene
A baby placed in the NICU will be placed in an isolate where the doctors and nurses will be able to monitor the temperature and what gets placed inside near the baby. Find out what the rules are for the NICU and the steps to keeping clean to ensure your little one does not get sick.
Tip 4: Limit visitors
As hard as that may be, it is very important to keep the number of visitors to immediate family. When Alicia was in the NICU with Mason, there was a rule at the hospital where they were at to have only the parents and two additional adults. No children under16 could visit, badges must be worn every time and people had to be buzzed in to the area as it was heavily protected. As a matter of respect for everyone staying in the NICU and at the hospital.
Tip 5: Stay flexible
Doctors make changes daily to ensure the growth and health of your baby continues. Being flexible and adapting to their changes makes you stress level decrease.
Tip 6: Use natural products
Babies, especially premature infants have a low tolerance to toxic chemicals. To ensure your baby does not get exposed to harsh chemicals use natural products like Baby Butz cream that are made specifically for babies and small children. Products tested on animals do not compare to the small babies that are born in the NICU.
It doesn’t matter if you are going to be in the hospital for a couple of days, a couple of weeks or a couple of months; what matters is that you will eventually go home with a baby that you can love for the rest of your life. Remember that it is such a small window in time that can seem like forever when you are living in it every day.