Posts Tagged ‘coping with stress’

Taking care of yourself while your baby is in the NICU

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

Having a baby in the newborn intensive care unit (also called NICU) can be very stressful for you and your family. There’s so much you need to learn and so many unknowns. It is normal that you focus most of your attention on your baby’s needs, but you also need to think about your own needs. Taking care of yourself can help you stay healthy and feel better. When you are feeling well, you will be in a better state of mind to help your baby.

Here are five things you can do to take care of yourself when your baby is in the NICU:

  • Maintain a daily routine. Having a routine can help you reduce stress. Every day focus on doing things that are good for you, like: eating healthy foods and regular meals, taking a relaxing shower, drinking plenty of water, and getting a good night’s sleep.
  • Make connections with other NICU families at NICU classes, in the family lounge or in the NICU hallway. NICU families may understand how you’re feeling better than friends and family who are not necessarily going through a similar experience.
  • Visit shareyourstory.org, March of Dimes online community for families. Here you can connect and share with moms and families who have a baby in the NICU. You can find support from these parents who also have a baby in the NICU, or are going through similar experiences with their babies.
  • Consider taking breaks from the NICU. It’s OK to make time for yourself and your family. Remember, you need to be ok to be able to help others.
  • Talk to a counselor. Counselors are professionals who specialized in mental health. Talking to a counselor may help you cope with your feelings. A counselor may be someone from the NICU staff or a social worker. The NICU Staff or your health care provider can help you find a counselor.

For more information about the NICU and how to take care of yourself and your baby visit marchofdimes.org

20 minutes after

Monday, January 31st, 2011

CSL007As working moms, often we forget to schedule in down time after medical appointments. We squeeze our medical appointments into the beginning or end of the day to accommodate work, family and personal schedules.  I don’t know about you, but I think medical appointments are hard enough to just get to; let alone planning for what happens when you receive difficult news at the doctor’s office, too.  This recently happened to a friend of mine and she drove 20 minutes after receiving this difficult news directly back to work.  While it seems admirable that she hurried back to her duties, taking just 20 minutes afterward for herself might have been healthier.

Our body and mind needs time to process the information we have received. I think it’s reasonable to try to build into your schedule a time for “after the doctor’s” appointment, don’t you?  During these 20 minutes you could stop at a local café to have a cup of tea, read some information, or go for a long walk. This time could help you relieve stress or anxiety and help you build up an internal coping mechanism. 

Pregnant women that face difficult news may face more intensified emotions, because of our body’s changing hormones during pregnancy.  I suggest having a person from your support team with you during pregnancy/prenatal checkups or annual women’s medical appointments, including a spouse, partner, or friend, sibling or parent.  If your support person cannot be physically present at the appointment, ask her to be available for 5 minutes after your appointment to talk on the phone, text or email etc.  This will help you have a support system that is there to listen. Tell this person to remind you to take those “20 minutes after” for yourself… and then take them.

 

How do you manage stress?

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Taking care of a baby is an awesome responsibility. It’s rewarding yet demanding and has the potential to put a tremendous amount of strain on us moms. So, what do you do to recharge and manage the stress of it all? I’ll go first. One of my favorite past times is eating ice cream right out of the container while watching back to back episodes of Say Yes To The Dress. It’s amazing how much better I feel after a little mindless TV and some sugar. Don’t judge! I’m also a closet Facebook user. I’m trying to avoid that whole Farmville scene though. I hear it’s fun and highly addictive. Do you have any guilty pleasures that you’re brave enough to admit? Let’s hear them! Check out our fact sheet, New Mom Stress.