‘You can be transported back to the NICU in a heartbeat'

Mum Michelle Caton Richards has blogged about how her baby’s premature birth has caused her to suffer post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD.) We want to reassure parents of preemies that they shouldn't suffer alone and that there is help available.

Pregnancy news, 22/11/2016

Mum and ‘Premmie Ramblings’ blogger Michelle Caton Richards has recently opened up about how her baby’s premature birth has caused her to suffer Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD.) Michelle, who suffered severe endometriosis, had previously been told that she would never have a baby, so when she finally became pregnant with her now 16 month old daughter, it felt like a miracle. Michelle’s pregnancy ended traumatically when her baby had to be delivered by emergency C-section at just 29 weeks.

She has openly spoken about how difficult she found this experience and the lasting effect that it’s had on her: ‘You can be transported back to the NICU in a heartbeat, with the noises and sounds, and that’s what there’s no control over.’  The lead up to her daughter, Emma’s first birthday has been particularly hard: ‘How can you explain that the birth of your baby was in fact the most horrific terrifying day?’

At Tommy’s we admire Michelle for speaking so openly about her experience. We realise that premature birth can be a very stressful and traumatic time for parents and want to reassure mums and dads of premmies that there is help available.

Our midwife Amina explains:

‘The first few days, weeks or months with your premature baby can be extremely tough - especially if they are very little or unwell. But help is at hand from many sources - family, friends and the healthcare team in the special care baby unit - so don't be afraid to ask for what you need. Depending on the hospital, they may even  be able to offer you specialist support such as counselling. It's easy to forget about yourself, but even if you feel as if nothing matters apart from your baby, it's important to take care of your emotional health and to talk to your doctor or midwife.’

See our practical tips for surviving the baby unit

Find out more about your baby's time in hospital

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