Parenting can be hard at times - But when you have lost a child and are now responsible for this little rainbow baby, it can be 10X worse. How so? Moms worry in general over everything. From putting baby down to sleep, making sure the bath water temperature is warm enough, to being concerned about germs, and beyond.
You may have a constant rush of fears lurking around in your mind daily. You're wondering if you're even bonding as much as you should with this baby because of your consistent anxiety. It's okay - "breathe - You're doing a good job. After going through the unthinkable like you did, it's only natural to have concerns.
"Am I putting baby down to sleep in the right position?", "What if she rolls over during the night and I don't see it. Maybe I need to stay up all night", "Am I swaddling my baby right?", "What if she gets too hot while swaddling?", "What if I made the wrong choice about vaccinations?", "I feel like a bad mom for not breastfeeding", "What if I didn't breastfeed long enough?", "Oh no, my baby is sick, must be my fault since I formula-feed", ""What if she chokes?"
Are those thoughts similar to what you battle with each day? Yeah, we thought so. Please, know you're not alone. Whether you're pregnant now or already have that sweet rainbow baby, you're going to be okay.
Also, please know that no matter what you choose - whether it's to breastfeed, formula feed, need to get away for a few hours, or even have someone come in your home to help - You're doing great - You're not a failure by any means. Every mom has to do what's best for them. Parenting is NOT a one-size-fits-all kind of deal. Promise.
Here are some tips to help you - and a few devices that can ease some of those thoughts that keep you up all night.
There's no shame in receiving professional help. In fact, you may only need a grief counselor short-term, just to help guide you and give you tips on how to control your thinking. When you're not in session with your counselor, and you feel the debilitating worries creep back up, call a family member or close friend. Never sit alone with your distressing thoughts. Always reach out as talking can relieve the tension.
Working through pregnancy may not be ideal for everyone, but it can help. Having a job can minimize the worrying and keep you sane. If you've already had your rainbow baby, you should still keep busy. You can go on outings to the store, visit family, or even grab a coffee with a friend. Even staying busy at home can help. Although you'll have to tend to your new baby, you can always watch your favorite show or even put together a puzzle. Get creative and think of new ways to keep busy. Eventually, the worrisome thoughts will decrease over time.
Mindfulness is all about being in the moment. When you feel yourself start to slip into the negative thought trance, focus on what's going on at that time. For example, if you're sitting down with your new baby, take in that new baby smell, rock him or her, and just embrace this moment. Only think of yourself in that moment and let all other thoughts slip through your mind.
Yoga is also a relaxing exercise that you should consider either each day or a few times per week. According to Harvard Medical School, yoga decreases physiological arousal and leads to a reduction in heart rate, eases respiration, and lowers blood pressure.
You dread putting your baby down to sleep - most parents share this same concern. Unfortunately, SIDS is a real thing, and it brings heightened worries to parents around the world. Imagine being able to feel at ease putting your baby to sleep. With Snuza baby monitors, you can track your baby's sleep state, duration of sleep, breathing, and movement. Because each parent has their own concerns and each family has their own preference, Snuza has different models of baby monitors available:
Snuza Hero MD - This model is known as the world's first medically certified baby breathing monitor in Europe. With this device, you can easily be alerted if your baby stops breathing. With just a clip to the diaper, the HeroMD will monitor your baby's breathing so you can get some much-needed rest while your baby sleeps. The device detects each breath and will send out an alert if breathing is weak or less than eight breaths per minute. Additionally, if Snuza doesn't sense breathing for 15 seconds, it will vibrate to alert your baby to breathe again.
Snuza Hero SE - This device works a little different. The sensor clips to the diaper and will detect slight movements. If the device senses 15 seconds of no tummy movement, vibration will occur to get your baby moving again.
Snuza Go! - The motion sensor on this device will monitor your baby and detect the slightest movements. If no movement is detected for 20 seconds, it will send out an alarm to you.
Snuza Pico - Easily monitor your baby's sleeping position, temperature, tummy movement, and sleep patterns with this device. Knowing your child's sleep patterns has been known to help with brain development and growth.
Bringing a new bundle of joy into the world is exciting, but for some parents, it can be a whirlwind of emotions - especially after a loss. Following the above steps and taking advantage of new technology like the devices listed above can make a significant difference in your stress levels. You got this, mom. You're going to do amazing at this parenting thing.