Spending time with your baby is one of the most rewarding things you can do for you and your baby. Separation post-delivery is an unnatural environment for mother and baby and being with your baby as much as possible can allow you to create a more natural and stimulating environment.
Learning how to interact with your baby from day one will help you to build a relationship with your baby and in turn your baby will let you know what she/he likes and dislike. This will help you and the staff to respond to your baby’s individual needs.
Quite often when your baby is admitted to Special Care Baby Unit due to a premature birth or sickness, this is an unplanned event so learning how to respond to your baby on Special Care may not be something that you had read much about. But what you do at this stage can really make a difference to your baby’s physical and mental wellbeing in the short and long term.
The Bliss Family HandBook, is full of useful information to help you understand how a Special Care Baby Unit works and also gives you information on some of the terminology used and routine procedures carried out.
Some babies may in the first days need to be nursed in an incubator, but there is still plenty you can do as a parent to get to know your baby. The link below will help you interact with your baby whilst in the incubator.
For babies who are ready to come out of the incubator, kangaroo care/skin to skin contact is an extremely effective way of getting to know your baby and reducing stress for your baby. The nurses will support you in getting your baby properly positioned and making sure any tubes or wires do not get in the way. Alarms may go off when getting your baby into position, but this is just due to them sensing movement and a nurse will adjust them if activated.
Below are some interesting research links on how skin to skin contact and interacting with your baby can improve outcomes.