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Archive for November, 2008

Infant Incubator Advantage?

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008 by:

With my first baby, I was all about attachment parenting–when he cried I picked him up (immediately), I breast fed on demand, we spent hours a day cuddling and he fell asleep on me often. So one of my biggest worries when my second son was taken to NICU less than an hour after birth was: How will life in an incubator, with limited human touch (and no hugs from mom), affect my child in the long run?

Obviously I was excited to hear the results of a new study published in Psychiatry Research. The University of Montreal study followed 1,212 children through adulthood and found that newborns who spent time in an incubator are two to three times less likely to be depressed when they grow up. The researchers’ original hypothesis, like my own, was that early mother-baby separation could result in heightened rates of clinical depression later in life.

Why were the results so much different than expected?

Researchers aren’t sure, but it could be that incubators are controlled environments where body temperature, brain oxygenation, sound and light are adjusted to maximize neuronal development. Or, maybe we just make up for lost time after our little ones are released from NICU.

Whatever the reason, this study can help take a little stress out of a highly emotional time for moms with babies in the NICU.

Expect the Unexpected

Monday, November 24th, 2008 by:

Second time’s a charm. That’s what everyone told me. Once you’ve already had a child, you’ll be so much more relaxed with number two because you’ll know what to expect.

And on October 24, 2008 I was certain I knew what to expect.

I arrived at the hospital for my 2:00pm birth (the close proximity of my two sons, caused my doctor to caution that a VBAC would be too risky). My second son, Beckett, came into the world screaming at 3:32pm, with a perfect score on his APGAR (a simple test to evaluate newborn health based on Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity and Respiration). He weighed 7 pounds, 12 ounces. Beckett was healthy (and after the initial shock of no longer being inside my warm and cozy womb, I was certain he would also be happy). I had visions of checking out of the hospital early and going home with my new baby, confident in my bathing, nursing and comforting skills.

But, if there’s anything a parent should be confident in, it’s that we should always expect the unexpected. My, everything went according to plan birth, ended with Beckett leaving the hospital after a life-threatening 11-day stay in the NICU.

With a newborn, life is always charmed (whether it’s your first, second–or dare I say third or forth time around). But life never goes according to plan. Just when you think you know what to expect, it’s the very moment your child will turn things upside down.

As a mother of two, I look forward to sharing life’s unexpected joys, setbacks, and tribulations with you on Just The Facts, Baby’s new pareting blog. Can’t wait to hear what all you new moms have to share as well.