Caring for your Babies while they are in NICU

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Although you might be restricted with how much physical contact you have with your babies depending on the gestation they were born and their stability, try to spend as much time as you can talking to them, holding their hand, stroking them and cuddling them when possible. Skin-to-skin contact – known as kangaroo care – is proven to be extremely beneficial for the development of premature or sick babies and is usually possible even with all the tubes and wires your baby may be connected to.  Not only does it help regulate your baby’s body temperature and breathing rate, promote the mother baby bond and oxytocin release for breastfeeding it is proven to calm and reassure them.  They may be undergoing a number of medical procedures which may be uncomfortable or distressing for them; their parents are the best possible people to balance this with a loving, positive, reassuring touch.

Playing an active role in your babies’ care will also help you bond with them, and be good for your wellbeing as you’ll still feel needed. Don’t be surprised if the staff do most of the work in the first few days as they’re stabilising your babies and working out how best to care for them, but once they’re on an even keel they’ll likely encourage you to become more involved and understand what’s happening. As you go on, you’ll be able to do more and more yourself so don’t be afraid to ask if you can take on tasks yourselves and if there are important firsts you’d like to be present for such as first proper feed, first bath, first outfit then make sure you make it known to your babies care providers.

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