When Your Baby Comes Earlier Than Expected

In the midsts of troubling days, you do not have to be alone.

No mother ever plans to have a premature baby, but in the United States it happens to 1 our of 10 babies. According to the CDC, "In 2014, the premature birth rate in the United States was about 9.6%. " That is a big number when you are one of those mothers or an aunt/uncle, grandma/grandpa to a little one born too early. Every year on November 17th "World Premature Day" we remember babies that are born premature, but at Virginia is for Doulas, we are always remembering families who are adjusting to life with a premature baby.

When you realize that your baby will be here much earlier than planned, or you hear the news that delivery must be earlier than expected, your whole world changes. Those moments you planned of bringing the baby home, your birth plan, your postpartum recovery, all change. Now, with this new change, everything is different and life with a little one in the NICU will be a huge adjustment. While in the hospital your NICU nurses will take such good care of you. You may have planned to bring home your new baby to family and siblings and resume life as normal, now your days are filled with trips to the NICU, talking with specialists and thinking on the future and cheering your baby on as it fights to grow stronger every day.

In these challenging moments, you find that you must be strong and you must make decisions you never expected you would ever need to make. We understand that you will face many challenges and may feel that you have no idea what to expect during this unexpected adjustment to parenthood, but we want you to know that you do not have to go it alone. Virginia is for Doulas is here for you, we have experience in supporting premature babies and their families. During these unpredictable times, you may need support at home while you recover from childbirth or your partner visits the NICU. In the hospital you will have so many wonderful hands to help you, but what will you do when you get home? When that heart rate monitor goes off, you are the one that must respond. When you bring home a baby that needs extra attention, but you are still a mother to other children or you are recovering emotionally and physically from birth, who will be there to support you during those months of transition? We will. Virginia is for Doulas' postpartum doulas will be there for you when you get that exciting news that you can bring your baby home.

How can our postpartum doulas help you once baby is ready to go home?

  • Overnights- feeding support, monitoring support, medication support, and ensuring you get as much rest as possible while you know your little one is in good hands
  • Errands- when you do not want to take your newborn out into the world yet, but desperately need groceries and snacks
  • Light housework- because people are still wearing clothes and eating off of the dishes, but cleaning is the last thing on your mind. Or perhaps it is on your mind and is really bothering you, but you do not have energy to fold laundry and do dishes after taking care of baby
  • Meal Preparation- because you still need to eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in-between regardless of how busy you are right now. Your postpartum doula can help you meal plan, be it paleo, vegetarian, vegan or anything, and help you prepare all of your favorite meals and be sure that you are nourishing your body.
  • Babywearing- the proof is in that "kangaroo care" for your premature baby can help him/her thrive very well. Your postpartum doula can help you wrap your baby safely or give you a rest and continue wrapping your baby while you shower and read a good book in silence
  • Premature Resources- while we always encourage you to speak with your specialists about your questions regarding care, medication, and monitoring of your premature infant, we can support the little questions and helping you find resources. We love Dr. Sears' Premature Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Premature Baby from Birth to Age One.
  • Daytime tasks- doing all of the little things during the day so that you can research, make and attend appointments, bond with baby, feed baby, rest, and prepare for the days ahead.
  • Reassurance, Support, Confidence- having constant support has been shown to increase confidence that parents have in themselves. The support of someone who is experienced in the situation you are going through can offer reassurance in your moments of doubt. You will have the best support you can imagine until you are ready in the clear and have met your goals.

Virginia is for Doulas wants to support you during your postpartum recovery and adjustment to parenthood, contact us today to discuss the perfect postpartum package for you.