Skip to content

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.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: January 14, 2014
    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.
    1
    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
     
    Chinese mother breast feeding newborn baby girl
    SLIDESHOW
    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