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Comfort holding

Parenting in the NICU - a quick look

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Learning about the NICU and ways of helping and bonding with your preemie can help you manage some of the stress and uncertainty associated with a preterm birth.


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Finding special ways to connect & understand preterm birth

The joy of childbirth is often short-lived for parents of preterm babies. Isolation from your newborn, extended hospital stays, and the uncertainty associated with medical procedures, takes a massive emotional and physical toll. This section has been created to help you navigate your way through some tough times. It covers everything from family-centred care, tips on how to bond with your preemie, helping out in the NICU, what to bring, to learning to read your prem's body language

 


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Comfort holding

Your premature baby may be critically unwell or it might be difficult to get those cuddles when she’s linked up to so many tubes or needs to be in the humidcrib but there are things you can still do to bond with your preterm baby

Bonding with your new born is an emotional act for any parent. For parents of preterm babies this is often not as simple as you would hope. Often the fragility of new born preterm babies prevents you from accessing them for cuddles and attention. Comfort holding allows you to experience that loving and nurturing touch when your baby is not ready to be held.

Cradling your preterm baby with still hands is sometimes more comforting and comfortable for unwell babies than stroking and massage. Every baby is different and you’ll learn to read your babies signs to know which they prefer and when.

Want more information

For more information read Baby watching - understanding signals

comfort holding preterm babies

Benefits of Comfort holding

  • Soothes your preterm baby during medical procedures
  • Settles your baby if he/she is restless
  • Helps your preterm baby to get back to sleep after feeds and cares
  • Encourages your baby to be quietly awake and responsive

Practical Tips

  • Discuss comfort holding with your preterm baby’s nurse, she may give you some guidance and together you can start to understand the signs from your baby as to when they might like comfort holding.
  • Take off your watch, rings, bracelets, and any other jewellery, wash your hands and arms, and roll your sleeves to the elbows. This will reduce the risk of infection.
  • Make sure your hands are warm before you touch your preterm baby. If your baby has trouble staying warm put a blanket between you and your baby’s skin.
  • Speak to your baby before touching, he will probably already recognize your voice, and it is a good cue to let them know you are there before you start.
  • Cradle one or both hands around your baby’s feet, head or body, and keep them still. Your baby may also like to grasp one of your fingers.
  • Wait and watch for signs that tell you your baby is relaxed. You can continue for as long as you are both comfortable.
  • When you finish comfort holding your preterm baby, move your hands away very slowly.

Reference Links:  Neonatal Nurses Association  ,  Bliss

 

 



AlbertEinstein_iconOne of the greatest minds in history, Albert Einstein was born preterm.

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Preemiehelp.com is here to provide preemie information, community and solutions to the people that need it most... you!
Preemie Help is also looking to provide a resource for any professionals that have contact with preterm babies and children in order to help them best understand the challenges that face a preemie. Get in contact to help us impact preemies.

Preemie, Premmie, or Prem?

Most babies spend between 38 and 42 weeks in their mother’s uterus. So, technically a preterm birth, preemie, premmie, or prem, is an infant who is born less than 37 completed gestational weeks. 


Read More: Defining Preterm birth


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New Release - Preemie Development

All in one easy to read eguide

‘The complete preemie guide to: ‘Preemie development’ is the must have guide to the NICU for new preemie parents.

With an easy-to-read layout this comprehensive guide is over 130 pages of important information about the NICU and your preemie.

Using Adobe’s .pdf format makes the guide usable across a wide range of platforms from ipad to PC, smartphone to macbook.

Packed with extra features like progress charts, NICU checklists and plenty of others. ‘The preemie guide’ is a must for any new parents.


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