How was your attachment/bonding fostered by nurses/doctors whilst in hospital?

Glenda - posted on 01/16/2010 ( 22 moms have responded )

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I am really interested in attachment as a career and also an interest. I was very fortunate I had great nursing staff who permitted me to visit as much as I liked at all hours and stay as long as I liked holidng, cuddling etc, even if it was through the glass with gloves etc. I was wondering what other parents experiences have been and what type of experience you had in strengthening/encouraging your attachments with your infant and them with you in those many weeks of hospitalisation.

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Ashley - posted on 06/10/2010

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The hospital where I had my preemie only allowed visiting hours a certain part of the day. They allowed me to stay as long as I wanted each day. It wasn't a lot of babies there so I spent long hours with my son.

Ashley - posted on 06/10/2010

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My boys were born at 24 weeks, the NICU they stayed at was great. The first night there I was taught how to changed there little diapers. A week later I was aloud to start kangaroo care, they encouraged it. I was aloud to be there 24/7, the nurses were awesome. The boys main doctor was great, he made sure he would tells us directly if anything was wrong. And the last week and a half my boys were there I got stay stay in my own room where I had my boys in there with me and we slept in there and then when I needed to pump I would just go back to our pod and the nurses would take over.

Aimee - posted on 06/09/2010

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My daughter was born at 27 wks due to me having severe preclampsia starting at 19 wks. I was in the hospital for 4 wks and not allowed many visitors, or phone calls, tv, etc. I could not leave my room and only able to get up to use the restroom. She was born by emergency c-section due to my failing health. I didn't see her for 3 days! I was not allowed out of bed and she could not leave the NICU due to being on a ventilator. When I finally saw her, I was heavily medicated and could barely sit in the chair long enough to look at her. I remember not feeling like she was mine or any form of attachment. I was so sad and disappointed in myself, feeling like a bad mother. My doctor told my family to take pictures and fill my room with pictures of my daughter. Later that day, I was able to make it down to see her once again. This time I waited to take my pain meds until after the visit. The nurse let me touch my baby during this visit because my dr told her I was having some problems. She taught me how to touch a preemie and she helped me work through the feelings I had. I started crying and it was that day that the bonding began. It took kangaroo care and working through my physical pain daily to get up to the hospital to see my baby. I wasn't able to drive or care for myself so I missed out on alot during the first month. I hadn't had any baby showers, we had just moved so our house wasn't furnished, and we didn't have a nursery...when the dr called to say our little girl was coming home in a week (a month earlier than we thought). She is 4 now and we couldn't be closer ;o) I had a much different experience than some because my own health was so bad and I was so sick - I really missed out on alot of the NICU stuff.

Heather - posted on 06/04/2010

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I didn't get to hold my daughter at first, and I was bleeding too bad to go visit her in the NICU. After 24 hrs, I tried going down there (in a wheelchair) but couldn't be wheeled into where she was, I had to get up and walk, and blood exploded everywhere. So they wheeled me away, and the NICU staff yelled at my nurse for bringing me there. So by the next day I was able to walk there. I still couldn't hold her though, I could only hold her hand, but couldn't stroke it. Any touch stimullation would cause her a struggle in her breathing. I just wanted to pick her up and hold her tiny little body, and nestle her to my breast. Much of what was going on is a blur to me. I was there 24/7 around the clock with her. Once I could hold her, it was for breastfeeding attempts, and could only be done for 15 min's max, every two hours. She couldn't suck enough, but at least they let me try. Then I fed her a bottle (of pumped milk) once she was done trying to breast feed. Then she had to go right back into her incubator. I had to fight hard with nurses to get to that point of allowing me to attempt to breastfeed her. I had to go to the head of the NICU dept. and have him write an order and put it in her chart. And then still some nurses would fight me on it. They would also give her formula if i wasn't back there exactly at the 2 hr mark (they'd have one warmed up and waiting for the exact minute) Which made it hard for me to go get something to eat sometimes. I had plenty of bottles of breast milk in their refrigreator for her, yet they insisted on formula, not my breast milk. It was much easier towards the end of her stay, when they learned to stop pushing me around, and also when she could come out without all her monitors connected. Even though I was there with her 24/7 (I'd literally sleep in a chair in the back of the NICU, between the 2 hr feedings) b/c the wonderful night nurse would let me do this! She also let ME do the diapering, heart rate, bp checks. I'd tell her, and she'd chart them. I loved her, for letting ME care for my baby! She was also the only one who would warm up breastmilk bottles for me, while I was breastfeeding, and then she'd get my breast pump set up for when I was done.

Brandy - posted on 05/31/2010

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we were at the nicu at miami valley hospital in dayton ohio. jenna was in the nicu for 3 months the nicu was 24 hours but jenna was to sick for awhile to be held or touched so we could only look at her, sometimes one of the nurses would let us take her out and hold her for maybe a minute but it was really stressfull on her and it made her moniters go off, but we could change her through the holes in the isolette. and then when she got a little older and we could hold her for maybe 5 to 10 minutes a nurse talked to me about skin to skin i only got to do it a couple of times though because we were not allowed to interupt her feeding or sleeping, so it was frustrating when a nurse would be a little late and mess up jennas schedual because we had to drive an hour to get to the hospital and i would miss my chance to hold her because the nurse decided to feed her early or late and then i couldnt usually wait 3 hours for her to wake up because i had to get a ride to dayton in the first place the other thing that bothered me was they were redoing the nicu so they put her in one big room with about 20 other babies and that was their almost home unit until they finished that part of the hospital, and it was really crowded and loud and they allowed parents to bring visitors and i didnt feel like that was appropriate.

Kylie - posted on 05/26/2010

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We were encouraged to change Joseph's nappy as soon as he was stable, and do his cares. I started doing foot massage on his when he was teeny (his foot was as big as my thumbnail), I think about day 3. One of the consultants saw me and said "what are you doing?" I thought I was going to get told off!

He said "Joseph is the best 27 weeker I have ever seen, and its down to you". He wrote up foot massage on a prescription form and put it in his notes! It came in handy later, because that consultant left, so when someone queried it, I could tell them to look in his notes.

I found it very hit and miss. Some nurses were great, and others couldn't see the point of things like kangaroo care.

Anna - posted on 01/22/2010

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My son was born at 26 weeks, he was my first and the care at the hospital was fantastic! I was involved by the staff with everything. Due to him being very small and on a ventilator initial contact was very limited, just doing containment holding once or twice a day (if he was having a good day) through the holes in the incubator. Once I went home from hospital my husband and I were allowed to visit whenever we wanted (very helpful as my other half was a self employed chef who worked til 11pm almost every night). At 2 weeks old my son had a turn for the worse when he contracted pneumonia and had to be put back on to the big ventilator, but that night once he was stabilised i was able to have my 1st proper hold of him on my knee. My husband was petrified as he had to hold the ventilator tube and make sure it didn't come out! Once he was on CPAP we were both able to do Kangeroo Care which was lovely (or an excuse for a snooze in my husbands case!!) I even got told off by one nurse for asking if it was ok to hold Harry, like she told me "he's your baby you don't have to ask for permission". We fed him his milk 5ml at a time through his nasal tube, changed his nappies, gave him his vitamins and iron, bathed him, tickled his toes when he forgot to breathe and turned blue! The nurses were a terrific support during the 14 weeks we were there with Harry. And before we brought him home I was able to stay at the NICU for two nights to look after Harry all on my own like a trial run! We go back every year on Harry's birthday to see them and show them how big he's got!!

Paula - posted on 01/21/2010

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My daughter was born at 23 weeks. Her hospital prides themselves on family centered care so parents are allowed 24 hour visitation. The amount of physical contact was limited at first but I was able to touch her during times of high stress. I can't remember what the hold was called but basically you contain them so that they feel a little like they are in the womb. It helped me feel involved from the very beginning. Once she was stable they had me changing her diapers, bathing her and even taking her vitals. As she got stronger my involvement increased. We did kangaroo care every other day and I did the majority of her feedings. By the time we left I did almost everything. Our nurses were great at helping us bond. They asked for my help in the beginning until I became so comfortable with the routine that I could do it myself.

Mary - posted on 01/21/2010

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My son was born almost 11 months ago. Although his NICU stay was brief (only 18 days) compared to others, I still missed out on a lot. To begin with, I was sick and was physically unable to do a lot, but when I was able to visit him, I was only allowed wo touch him with 1 finger and NO stroking; I could only hold him when they said I could; breastfeeding was like pulling teeth; I was able to visit whenever I wanted (minus a 2 hour perid in the am and pm); kangaroo car was not offered and never having a preemie, I was not aware that this even existed; I did change his diapers but only with them watching; except for the fact that I got an incredible little baby out of it, it was an awful experience. When we were finally able to bring him home, I was very seperated from him. . . I had not had that important bonding with him like I had my other two. . .

Michelle - posted on 01/21/2010

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My boys were born at 32 weeks and were in the NICU for about 3 weeks at OHSU/Doernbecher in Portland, OR. I could stay as long as I wanted. They also allowed me do help with vitals, bathing, feeding, and a whole lot of stuff. They had privacy screens if I wanted. There were a ton of volunteers at the NICU. Some rocked babies, played guitars, sang, took pictures and left CDs of them for free, and other types of volunteers. They were also security conscious. There were also separate rooms if I wanted to take my babies and a nice waiting room. If you can't tell I really enjoyed my experience. The staff was great.

Danielle - posted on 01/20/2010

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My premie was born nearly 5 years ago at 26 weeks, she weighed just under two pounds. The hospital where she was born was great about visiting. I was able to pump milk for them to feed her and we did Kangarooing, which involved cuddling and holding her skin to skin. I was able to visit whenever I wanted and was even able to sleep over if I wanted. I was given meals and the nurses even bought gifts for my daughter. The staff gets really attached to the babies and help provide love to the babies and support to the parents.

Lindsay - posted on 01/20/2010

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my daughter was born at 32 weeks in toledo childrens hospital. i loved nicu there. the staff was really nice and kept us informed about our daughter, they encouraged kangaroo care and having me try to breastfeed. we got to see our daughter whenever we wanted and could hold her whenever we wanted except when she was under the lights. we were allowed to sleep in her room and did once while waiting for a room at the ronald mcdonald house.

Shana - posted on 01/20/2010

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I loved the nurses and dr. that cared for my baby...the team in the NICU was wounderful... WASHINGTON HOSPITAL CENTER NICU is the best

Yvonne - posted on 01/20/2010

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My son was born at DMC in Modesto CA. They allowed parents in 24 hrs a day. They were very helpful and encouraging. Never made you feel as though you were bothering them and always ready to answer any questions.

Laura - posted on 01/19/2010

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i had my daughter december 8, 2009 at 26 weeks gestation so everythings still alittle new to me but not to much. im able to see my daughter everyday whenever i want as long as i want except during the hours of 6:30am to 8:00pm both morning and night due to shift changing but im more then welcome to visit anytime except during that time the nurses and staff are all very nice and welcoming there are times were i do feel uncomfortable or im being a bother to them but i guess i shouldnt feel that way i can hold my daughter as soon as i get there for 30 minutes maybe longer depending on the nurse my daughter gets but every nurse i have met has always asked as soon as i arrive do i want to hold? but so far everything has been great!

Bec - posted on 01/19/2010

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We could visit anytime except hand over times. We were not allowed to hold our baby when we wanted, it was mainly during feed time only. He was under lights for 7 days which meant that our holding time during feeds was also limited. I was never spoken to about kangaroo care or offered it as an option. It wasnt until we transferred to a hospital closer to home and he was in an open crib that we were able to hold him, bathe him, change and feed him at our own pace etc. I feel that I did not get an opportunity to bond early with my first child because of opinions within the care setting. I was told I could stay at the hospital for longer because he was prem but I ended up being discharged after 2 days, not my choice. I suffered PND after my first pregnancy, but so far with my second little one born at 39 weeks!! I feel completely different and have bonded really well with him. We also used to get into trouble for even glancing at another babies incucrib which is abit hard not to do when you are surrounded by incucribs!! Not a good experience anyway.

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I really wasn't to say, the least. My twins weren't my first babies and everyone (staff) was too busy getting ready for Christmas to seem to notice or to care much.

Plus I was on bed-rest during last two months before twins were born and had to keep taking a medication (that was 20 years ago, so my apologies if I don't remember the name of the med) every 2 hours *around the clock*. I was soooo tired, especially having had emergency c-section, that all I wanted to do while in hospital for a week was *sleep*....because, having just had twins I knew for sure I wasn't going to get much of any once they came home with me!

Andrea - posted on 01/18/2010

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We could go into the NICU almost anytime, but not hold our son very much. We were made to feel as if we were just visitors as we were scolded a couple of times when we came in because each nurse had their own idea of when we should visit. We didn't get to hold our one twin until he died at 2 days old and the other twin was also about 2 days old when were able to hold him. He couldn't be out of his incubator for long because he had to be under the lights for jaundice. I hated touching my baby through the "port holes" in his incubator and I felt more like he was a fish in a fish tank and we were just standing there watching him, not able to hold him. I remember being very upset and telling my husband that I didn't feel like that was my baby because I had no control over anything and I was angry at the nurses for treating me like I wasn't my son's mother. I kept saying "that's my baby, not theirs". I had a hard time bonding with him until he was transferred to another hospital when his care became a level 2. I was then able to hold him whenever I wanted and did kangaroo care.

Nicole - posted on 01/17/2010

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We could stay as long as we wanted in the NICU and ISCU, but we could not hold our baby all the time, or whenever we wanted. The nurses encouraged Kangaroo Care, but the impression they gave was that is was kind of a hassle to get the special chair over to your baby, from wherever it was! They allowed us to hold her at feeding times, for a long time, but they liked the baby to go back in her crib or incubator to sleep, rest whatever. Which she was doing in my arms anyway! I wish I had known that I could speak up about what I wanted: she was MY baby, not theirs!

Iysha - posted on 01/16/2010

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My daughter was in the NICU for 17 days. In that time, I was able to hold her, bathe her, change her, kiss her, take her temp., whatever I wanted and whatever the moniters would allow me to do. It was great. When it was feeding time, they would hang her feeding tube up above me so that I could hold her and they encouraged her to try to breast feed while being tube fed. The nurses said she would be able to go home once she took her whole bottle without becoming tired. I liked bottle feeding rather than breastfeeding because she did it better and When she finished her first bottle, i was so excited because I knew she was going to be able to come home soon =] I absolutely loved holding her. I would sit in the rocking chair and just hold her and watch her and listen to the sounds she made. I even fell asleep while holding her and the nurse offered me a room to sleep in for a bit. I refused...I tried to keep my eyes open. lol. I wanted to be there with her =] The NICU allowed me to be there from 8am-7pm and from 8pm to 7am...there was an hour needed for the nurse shift change.I stayed from 8am to 6pm.

Sarah - posted on 01/16/2010

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My daughter was born at 32 weeks and was 2.8 lbs. I was allowed to visit with her at any time day and night but I was only able to hold her during feedings and kangaroo care. She was too small to breast feed so I had to feed her thu a bottle so I really felt like I was missing that attachment time. However the kangaroo care help alot with that. Then when she was able to get out of the incubator I was able to hold her any time. But I continued with the kangaroo care so we still had our bonding time. I think it has helped alot.

Nolwazi - posted on 01/16/2010

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The hospital where I delivered my preemie had 24 hour visiting hour. The clinical staff/nurses encouraged Kangaroo Care because of its various benefits on the preemies' physical and emotional growth and development. The nurses take the baby out of the incubator with all the "attachments". (It usually takes two nurses; one to take the baby out and another to maneuver all the "attachments"). The parent sits on a recliner; they then place the naked baby (with only a hat and diaper on) on the parent’s bare chest, inside the shirt, so that there is skin-to-skin contact. They cover both of you with a blanket and you lay back and snuggle for an hour or so. I used to do this for about two hours four times a week. Talk about heaven!

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