For many parents, having a premature or sick baby is very stressful and frightening. You may be feeling that your world has just been turned upside down.
It is completely understandable to be feeling like this. It is important to remember that it is not your fault that your baby is in special care. You may have many questions about your baby’s care or you may be confused about the treatment they are receiving. You can always ask your baby’s doctors or nurses anything that is on your mind and they will try to give you as much information about your baby’s care and wellbeing as possible.
Most new parents put their own needs second. It is hard to juggle running your home, work and visits to the hospital. But it is really important to look after yourself so that you can keep going. Look after the basics, like eating well and getting enough sleep. Try to talk about about how you are feeling to someone who understands.
While your baby was in the unit, you will have used a lot of energy just to keep going and stay strong. When you bring your baby home, the full impact of what has been happening over the last few weeks or months may suddenly catch up with you. You may feel very tearful or simply exhausted as your body starts to relax.
Different members of the family will have experienced the situation in very different ways too, so you will all have to adjust to the new situation, particularly if there are other children in the family.
The weeks leading up to your baby’s first birthday can also be an emotional time for some parents. Memories of your baby’s birth – particularly if it was very traumatic – may come rushing back and take you by surprise. All these feelings are perfectly normal and understandable.
If you feel overwhelmed, there are many people who can help. Talk to your GP or health visitor, who will be able to tell you how to access counselling if you feel you need it. Bliss also offers a range of services to provide support to families at this time, you can find out more information in our how Bliss can help section.
Talking to your other children
Other family and friends