Thursday, August 21, 2008

Take care of yourself, too...

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.


Ryann said...

To add to #3...
Sometimes staying connected to those you love is not as easy when your little one is in the NICU and beyond. When you get a chance to step away to make phone calls, you may find yourself repeating the same story over and over, only to be sometimes second guessed, judged or questioned by those who think they may know better (when in fact have never been in your position!). We found that using a service such as caringbridge (, we were able to keep everyone informed more often without the hassles. This way no one feels left out of the loop and can support you in any way they choose. Speaking of support, when others offer to help, let them! Don't be afraid to let friends and family, who ask to help, know exactly what you need. Maybe a hug, maybe to walk your dog, maybe to bring a hot meal.

JessieLeigh said...

Excellent point, Ryann. We were very blessed to use the service of CaringBridge to keep everyone updated.

For me, "staying connected" mainly involved nurturing my marriage (which could easily have taken a beating during this ordeal) and leaning on my mom.