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Guidance Please

(8 Posts)
Romily Tue 07-Jan-14 10:36:28


My baby is currently in the neonatal intensive care unit with breathing complications and I don't really know what to do with myself. He is heavily sedated and we are not allowed to pick him up although we can now touch him for short periods of time.

We live quite far from the hospital and I don't know how much time I should be spending there. I know it is a silly thing to worry about but when I am there I worry that I am disturbing him and when I am not there I feel so guilty that I am not supporting him. I am expressing so every two hours I need to spend about an hour expressing which makes the day disappear.

What can I do when there to bond with him and how do I balance time with him and time expressing for him?

WhatKatyDidnt Tue 07-Jan-14 14:41:00

Romily, congratulations on the birth of your boy. I am very sorry that he is having such a rough time. Was he premature?

It's great that you are expressing every two hours, that will really help your supply. Have you tried doing 10-15 mins each side? I was advised to do that rather than pump for too long. The kellymom website has excellent info.

Re the time you spend there. It is absolutely beneficial to him to feel your presence: talk gently, sing softly, put your hands on him in a "containment hold" - the nurses can show you how. But it's also essential for you to have some time away from the hospital so maybe try and fit in a walk every day and don't feel guilty if you need a morning at home. It's easier said than done sometimes!

Be kind to yourself. I hope your boy is well enough for a cuddle soon.

FraggleRock77 Tue 07-Jan-14 15:53:53

Congratulations on the birth of your LO. Totally agree with WhatKaty, don't be hard on yourself, it's really hard work in NICU trying to balance everything.
We had cuddly cloths that i kept in my bra and swapped every time we visited, so he got to know my smell.
I struggled with skin to skin in the early days as i didn't want to hurt him. Lots of hands on. Good luck grin

Romily Tue 07-Jan-14 18:59:57

Thank you so much for replying with such kind words and good advice. My hormones kicked in today with a vengeance and I was feeling overemotional and unable to think things through.

My son was 5 weeks premature however the staff have said that we have been very unlucky as usually at his gestational age there would not be as many problems stabilising his breathing.

I love the idea of the cuddly cloths and I will start doing that as of tomorrow.

Expressing had proved uncomfortable and frustrating over the last few days but my milk came in today and I was able to bring a pump home from the hospital so that has made a huge difference as I can produce more in a fraction of the time.

I spoke with my OH and he feels that I am balancing things well which made me feel a bit calmer. There is no way I can take care of my daughter, be at the NICU, express and keep upright without compromising in each area.

minipie Thu 09-Jan-14 12:35:35

I wondered if you had spoken to the hospital about expressing by the side of his cot? I was able to do this when my daughter (6 weeks early) was in hospital so I was able to look at her and stroke her while I expressed. Obviously it depends on if the hospital has mobile pumps and if you are comfortable expressing in a slightly public area. Glad to hear your milk is now in, that should make life easier for you and you might be able to move over to expressing 3 hourly instead of 2 hourly soon, if your supply seems good.

You could also ask if any of their "rooming in" rooms are available for you to use. I was allowed to nap in their "rooming in" room as it was not being used, this really helped me as I was spending all day at the hospital so I would express and then nap between DD's feed times. I could also keep food in there so I could eat when I got a chance as well.

Do take care of yourself, eat enough and sleep enough. it will help with your milk supply and you need to preserve your resources for when DS comes home and you have the newborn stage to get through!

MultipleMama Thu 09-Jan-14 19:35:13

Oh sorry to hear that. My baby boy has had breathing problems since he was born premature too. He also had to battle with things that made his breathing worse, he has very weak lungs and relies heavily on steriods and meds, and I wasn't able to hold him for the longest time after he was born - which I think makes it a little harder to bond, for me anyway.

I too felt that guilty when I wasn't there and it was hard when I was needed at home too. I found the reading to him and talking to him in general really helped me cope/express and feel like I was doing something. He recently had a pacemaker op (he's 5 week adj) and I still find it hard to feel like I'm useful.

I agree with everything said above, we use cuddle cloths and they seem to help him. I also very reluctantly force myself to go for some fresh air and a small walk or go for a drink at cafe. I still drain and wear myself thin at the hospital but you should have some "you" time.

Congrats on your baby boy.

Romily Fri 10-Jan-14 00:10:32

Thank you again for the great advice! It really has been a comfort to hear that others have had the same thoughts as me and your suggestions have been so helpful.

We had a good day today and I got to hold him for the first time which was amazing. Only 5 mins but I felt so calm and relaxed afterwards. He was also moved from intensive care to the high dependancy unit so we are closer to getting him home.

I cluster expressed yesterday and today and it has increased ever so slightly but not as much as I would have hoped. I did try expressing next to his incubator but it made no difference so I now go to the expressing room just after spending time with him and try there.

Been trying to take good care of myself too so eating well, drinking loads of water and trying to sleep as much as possible around expressing.

FraggleRock77 Fri 10-Jan-14 02:10:20

What wonderful news that you got to have your first cuddles, it's so special.
Eat chocolate, my SiL swears by it for milk supply and if it's nonsense just enjoy it anyway, it got me through NICU x

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