Holding your preemie

Body Inside & Out   |   Age: 2 days

Holding your preemie

Holding your baby for the first time is a magical experience! As the parent of a preterm baby, though, you might not have had a chance to hold your baby yet, and you might still be wondering when you can hold her for the first time. The answer is a little complicated and it depends on a couple of factors, but one thing’s for sure: when it happens, it will be like nothing you’ve ever experienced. 

There are a few things that the NICU staff have to take into account before they can let parents hold their preemie. On the one hand, if a baby isn’t ready, her health could be at risk. On the other hand, preemies benefit from spending some time in a parent’s arms. So, what’s an eager parent to do?

The different ways to hold a preemie 

At first, your preemie might be too young to be held safely in your arms. Preemies born at a certain age have sensitive skin and are more prone to infection, so they can’t be held right away. If this is the case for your baby, you might want to look into other options. Holding your baby in your arms is one way to make meaningful contact with her, but it isn’t the only way - there are actually a few different ways to do this.

Signs of readiness

You might still not know when you’ll be able to hold your preemie, but the NICU staff will be able to help you decide when you and your preemie are ready. Here are some signs that they look for to determine this.

Staying in touch with your preemie

The NICU staff knows just how much you want to hold your preemie. Ultimately, they’re the ones who will let you know when it’s safe to for all of this to happen. Don’t be afraid to ask your baby’s nurses and doctors when they think you can hold her, though - it’s totally normal to be eager and anxious to get your preemie in your arms.

More information about premature babies

Ovia won't deliver more articles about premature babies to your timeline, but if you're interested in reading more articles about your premature baby, you can find them by tapping the three stacked lines in the upper left corner of your app, selecting "Articles," and typing "preemie" into the search bar.


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