Many parents talk about the roller coaster of emotions they experience when they go home from hospital. Feelings of joy and relief at getting to this stage are mixed with anxiety and nervousness at being away from the routine and monitoring of the hospital. It’s not unusual to feel overwhelmed and alone when you go home. In fact some parents have said this time is ‘down right terrifying’. So it is important to be aware of the whole range of emotions you may experience. We are all different and it is important that you can share your feelings with those around you and try to find ways that help you cope with the transition. It is not unusual for it to take a few months to relax into your home routine.
Parents often say that they find it hard to find time to look after themselves when they get home with their baby but keeping an eye on you and your partner’s health and wellbeing will help you and your baby. Find out more
Here are some thoughts from other parents about their experience of coming home with their premature baby:
- Take time to celebrate progress. There’ll be lots of reasons to feel positive.
- Deal with things one step at a time.
- Take time out for yourself everyday even if it’s just a five minute walk around the block or to the shop, do relaxation exercises or listen to music and rest as much as possible.
- Go with your instincts in establishing your own routines.
Watch out for burnout – you may be coping with your routine but if you are constantly on the go you could be exhausting yourself – it is important to share your activities with others around you even if you don’t think they can do things for your baby as well as you can.
As there are so many changes and new experiences during these first weeks at home it is important to let others help you. Family and friends can be a great source of support at this time and there are many health professionals and support organisations you can contact to ask for advice and support.
This section was written by Professor Fiona Alderdice.
Take time to celebrate progress. There’ll be lots of reasons to feel positive.
Deal with things one step at a time.
Follow our tips on looking after yourself.