In honor of this week's "Three Things You Should Know Thursday", I want to remind you to take care of yourself too. It's easy to let your own care slide when you're riding the emotional roller coaster of having your preemie in the hospital. Here are three things that you should know that might help you decide to try harder to get some rest, nourish your body, and stay connected with others:
1. Your memory and decision-making skills are sharper when you're well-rested. You are going to be called upon to remember a LOT of numbers and conditions. You will also be asked to give consent to innumerable procedures. Letting yourself get some sleep will help you be more useful to your child when you're awake.
2. You're more likely to be successful pumping if you stay hydrated and well-fed. You cannot expect your body to produce quality food for your baby and if you're not providing it with quality food to start. (For non-nursing mommies and all daddies-- You also need to stay nourished just to have energy. This whole experience is draining enough without complicating matters. Aim to stay hydrated and get quality grains and protein several times a day.)
3. Stable relationships with others will provide you with the emotional support to carry on. Staying connected with others helps you to get help when you need it which may alleviate at least a little of the stress you're feeling. All babies can pick up on our stress levels; the last thing your tiny little fighter needs is to feel your tension.
So... take care of yourself. For your baby's sake.