A Mother’s Joy, No Matter What the Time
“What does it mean to be the mother of a miracle? It means knowing that every day is a blessing and a gift. It means knowing that you are the luckiest person in the world to be a parent. It means cherishing every moment, every breath with such intensity that you feel tears come to your eyes for no apparent reason.” – K. Lena
Babies who are born too early or preterm miss the “final touches” that occur in the final stages of pregnancy, which are significant to growth and development. Premature birth happens when babies are born before 37 weeks of pregnancy. According to March of Dimes, surviving babies may have a life full of short or long-term health problems such as cerebral palsy, chronic lung disease, hearing loss, and intellectual abilities.
The cause of preterm labor or birth is not always known. Labor may come as an early surprise, even if mom is doing everything right. There are a few holistic care choices that help to reduce the risk of premature labor and births and make the Pregnancy period a little more enjoyable.
Did you know about these local, holistic approaches?
Pregnancy/Holistic Birthing Centers provide a safe choice for women to give birth in more subjective experience. Women often feel empowered when they are given control over pregnancy by choosing how and where they’d like to birth. Mom makes a choice where she gives birth: whether it in a Jacuzzi or shower, on a birthing ball, or all hands and knees. These centers encourage women to follow their bodies wants and needs with the a Nurse-Midwife by her side for guidance.
Pregnancy Chiropractic Care helps assist with a healthier pregnancy by controlling symptoms, reducing the time of labor and delivery, relieving pain, and potentially preventing a c-section delivery. Acupuncture may also help with elevating some of the swelling and discomfort that comes with pregnancy. Talk with Care Clinicians that specialize in woman’s health and pregnancy and discover the best option for you.
Check out these benefits of having a Doula:
Having a Doula may be for you if you’d like emotional, physical, and educational support by a trained professional during child support.
- A Doula will ask questions about desires, fears, and expectations to create a birth plan
- Provides optional perineal massages or other stress-reducing techniques during birth
- Is highly available by phone for questions, comments, and concerns
- Assists with pain-relief by practicing different labor positions, massage, relaxation, and breathing techniques
- Offers emotional support
- Encourages other family or friends to support and follow mom’s wishes
While pregnant and after pregnancy get a massage. Nerve pain, reduction of swelling, hormone regulation, and improved lymphatic and blood circulation are a few benefits of prenatal massage therapy. Relax muscles that ache and decrease inflammation in joints with a massage. Prenatal massages are utterly safe after the first trimester, but you should always get the “go-ahead” from your practitioner. Always tell your massage therapist that you’re pregnant.
“I feared it because it was too early. I cried because it was too soon. Yet I underestimated, the strength in one as small as you.” – preemie support and awareness group
Support groups offer emotional support with peers who understand.
It’s easy to know how to react when a baby is born full-term, happy, and healthy. When there are complications, and the baby is taken early and placed in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) it is another story. It’s hard to understand what NICU parents are going through (and even more challenging to know how to support the parent).
The NICU is scary. Parents often feel helpless as their infant is tangled up in wires and beeping scream from every which way. The commotion of doctors and nurses rushing around, sick babies in every direction and grieving families in the hallways can be overwhelming (to say the least). Often parents do not know when their child will come home and it’s heart-breaking.
Luckily, most people go their entire lives without seeing the inside of a NICU. These people do not have to experience the intense emotions, and physical demands that come hand-in-hand with have a little one in the hospital. Parents who spend hours on end praying, crying, and clinging to the side of their NICU baby’s bed become emotionally drained. Many parents do not ask for help but could use the support as their emotions run wild.
Keeping up with your friends may be helpful, but NICU parents may feel very alone in their experience. How could anyone possibly know what they are going through? Fortunately, there is hope!
Families and friends may not understand the impact of having a baby in the NICU, and doctors will not provide adequate emotional support. A preemie support group can fill the gap between medical treatment and the need for emotional support. The groups offer a great deal of comfort as they provide a chance to share experiences with others who are going through similar situations. It makes it so that you do not have to go through it alone.
Parents are comforted with the chance to be emotionally supported through difficult days or days when the last chance becomes their only chance. It’s an opportunity to ask challenging questions, offer tips or tricks in the NICU, and celebrate small successes during an incredibly emotional time. Parents receive information firsthand in regards to what it’s like to go through having a premature baby.
NICU parents can expect a special type of therapeutic relationship to bond. However, this relationship should not be confused with a professional counseling relationship. Support groups contain people who are just trying to get through their situation and seek emotional support. People in the group will not be telling you what to do or how to do it. Parents will receive a new companion who knows, understands, and offers support through the journey.
The format of a preemie support group can vary, including online or phone communities and in-person meetings. Some groups may offer additional resources, like a house or educational opportunities. It’s essential to understand the pros and cons of online support groups. Online support groups may offer flexible and more frequent participation, but frequently, text can be confused or misunderstood by members. Due to anonymity, behaviors such as disrespect, judgment, and inappropriate exchanges of words may occur. People may use the online space as a place to bully. Use your best judgement when pursuing support online.
An Important Note…
Finding the right support is vital because every family is unique. Parents should ask questions like when, where, and how does a particular group meet. Parents who join a new support group may feel apprehensive about sharing intimate details with people that they may not know. It may be beneficial to listen with intent and overtime share as seen fit. Changing support groups after a few weeks may be necessary.
Please remember that the preemie support group is not a replacement for medical care. It’s a place where parents in similar situations can get help with coping with a challenging experience. Physicians can assist in finding other types of counseling if desired.
It is also very important to follow the advice of your Doctor/Pediatrician. Have a back up plan. Babies born as preemie’s need special care and attention. It is wonderful to think you many have a perfect pregnancy but unexpected things happen. Walk thru your local Hospital and maternity ward. Say hello to the nurses so you will feel comfortable in case baby is early. Better to know where to go for the best care is all circumstances for the new arrival.
You can check out these local resources to find a support group that fits your needs:
- Austin Public Health: Maternal Infant Outreach Program supports African-American women through pregnancy
- Giving Austin Labor Support
- Facebook Support Groups to check out:
- Premature Baby Support
- Premature Babies & Beyond
- Babies Due November 2019 – Pregnancy Support Group
- NICU MOM’s and Family Support Group
- Hand to Hold supports families before, during, and after NICU stays while families experience infant loss to the entire family
- Graham’s Foundation: Supporting Parents of Preemies
- Jeremiah Program provides support resources to single moms
- Mama Sana Vibrant Women
- March of Dimes
- Mothers’ Milk Bank
- Partners in Parenting
- People’s Community Clinic medical, counseling and health education at a reasonable cost
- Pregnancy & Postpartum Health Alliance for those struggling with perinatal mood or anxiety disorders
- Preemie-L is a very active group for swapping tips and gaining comfort
- Strong Start offers free in-home parent education and more
- Texas Parent to Parent provides emotional for a parent that has or had a NICU baby
- Adoption Advocates
- WilCo Wellness Alliance fosters a health environment via faith
“You are BRAVER than you believe, STRONGER than you seem, and SMARTER than you think” – Winnie the Pooh.
Holistic approaches during pregnancy can reduce the risk of having a premature baby. However, no matter what type of plan or practitioner you choose, please discuss your desires, intentions, and fears during the initial appointment to set a clear, intentional path in place. You are in control of your birth experience and should feel empowered to do so. You are not alone in this experience. We encourage you to reach out to these support groups for a bond that nobody else may be able to offer to you.
Please know that November is National Prematurity Month, a time to help fight for the health of babies and their moms. It’s time to understand what parents are going through and their options. Consider donating to support research or community programs. Connect with local resources to learn about prematurity awareness. Take the chance to speak up online or at local rallies. You may even find Facebook as a meaningful way to gift through their Gifts That Empower guide.