The birth of a premature baby is the most cruel introduction to becoming a parent,the anticipated birth of a full term baby has gone. Instead, parents have to get used to a “different” baby. A baby that need support from doctors, nurses and machines and parents find themselves in a state of limbo for weeks, months.They then they go home to what should be the most joyous of occasions. Instead, parents remain in the clinical mindset and if this continues can affect the long term relationship as mums especially can’t take off the “nurse hat”.
To my knowledge, I am the only therapist in Wales that offers this kind of post discharge support for families of premature and traumatized babies.It is a group and not a course, as mums and dads can come as long as they want. The strokes are the same but it takes longer to gain the trust of their baby as many are hypersensitive to touch when they have only experienced touch that perhaps has been painful and traumatic.
The trust that develops between the baby and parent does take time and needs lots of patience, because massage is done “with” them and not “to” them-that’s the difference. Once this trust begins the baby will relax and the baby will welcome the warmth and security of loving kind hands.
During our sessions, parents have the opportunity to reflect upon their trauma, and this is crucial in order for mums to relinquish the nurse role and become mum. This process takes longer for some than others as each journey and experience is individual. Topics are usually generated by parents themselves such as sleep, weaning, development and leaves mums feeling more empowered and confident as other mums will take on board the experience of others.
One thing is certain you will meet other parents who have travelled the “rocky road” through the NICU and SCBU and the feeling that you are on your own when you get home. You build up relationships that will endure time and eventually find some light at the end of the tunnel.
- Session cost - £6:00