Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health & Baby

Font Size

Premature Infant - Taking Care of Yourselves

If your premature infant is moved to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), you may become overwhelmed with new emotions and information. You and your loved ones may handle issues and feelings differently, and it may create a strain on your relationships.

Thinking of yourself and your relationships may not be easy when you are under a lot of stress. But your child or children depend on you to be physically and emotionally able to care for them.

Take a quiet moment and focus on yourself. Ask yourself, "How am I doing? What do I need right now?" Try to take time to get enough rest, food, exercise, and fresh air and sunlight. Do you have someone you can talk to: a partner, friend, parent, spiritual advisor, or counselor? If any of these basic needs aren't being met, make them a top priority.

  • Arrange for and accept as much help from friends and family as you can.
  • Keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings.
  • Visit with a friend, spiritual advisor, counselor, or social worker. It helps to talk about how you feel.
  • If your hospital has a support group for NICU parents, try it out. Sometimes the best possible support comes from people who are going through the same issues that you are.
  • See a mental health professional or go to the emergency room right away if you are having thoughts of hurting yourself or another person. Such thoughts can sometimes arise due to postpartum depression, severe stress, or both.
    actionset.gif Depression: Managing Postpartum Depression
  • Watch for signs of depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Seek help if you have symptoms.
1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 22, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

mother on phone holding baby
When you should call 911.
Mother with baby
Unexpected ways your life will change.
 
baby acne
What’s normal – and what’s not.
baby asleep on moms shoulder
Help your baby get the sleep he needs.
 

mother holding baby at night
ARTICLE
mother with sick child
QUIZ
 
baby with pacifier
VIDEO
Track Your Babys Vaccines
TOOL
 
Baby Napping 10 Dos And Donts
Slideshow
Woman holding feet up to camera
Article
 
Father kissing newborn baby
Article
baby gear slideshow
Slideshow