Alexandra Risebury - 07814 512166
"Our time as parents in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit was made all that much easier by Alex being a part of it. She spent so much time talking to me and my husband, helping us to explore our fears and concerns and then to rationalise them and help reassure us. She was such an incredible emotional support to me and clearly cared about our well being as NICU parents as well as the well being of our daughter. She clearly explained so much of the confusing and often frightening world of the neonatal intensive care unit and helped us transition from being mere observers as to everything happening there, to helping us feel empowered as parents who had an important and vital role to play within that environment. She helped us find the confidence to voice concerns and worries, and seemed to instinctively understand those things that were troubling us. The job of parenting on a Neonatal Unit is a tough one at times, but made so much easier and bearable by having someone like Alex on your side with you."
Sarah and James
Having your baby admitted to a special care baby unit (neonatal unit) can be a very stressful and overwhelming experience. There are different reasons why a baby might be admitted to a neonatal unit, premature birth being the most common factor.
Quite often parents will have not have had the time to identify themselves with the setting of a neonatal unit and in some cases parents have had only very little or no knowledge about a neonatal unit. There is no reason why they should have the awareness if their pregnancy went “smoothly”. In some cases parents will have been prepared for the potential admission of their baby and will have had a guided tour of the unit but this is not often the case.
The biggest stress factors are separation (mostly unexpected) and worry about their baby’s health. A complete new language unfolds to them (medical terms often taken for granted by staff), monitors, noises and a large medical team with frequent shift changeover. The feeling of isolation is commonly described.
Neonatal units will provide “family centred care” and some units might even have a named nurse the parents can rely on. The biggest task to come is when the baby is “ready” to come home (to be discharged). Although it seems the baby might be in a good “routine”, gaining weight well as feeding is established, it is still an overwhelming experience for parents to be finally bringing their baby home and to start family life in their own environment. In my opinion those parents should be treated like any other parent who take their baby home straight after birth. The support is very different and one of the main reasons for re-admission to hospital for those babies is due to feeding problems.
As a doula I want to provide the same service to parents who have experienced a neonatal care admission as to those who haven’t. I will be happy to support you through your stay whilst on the neonatal unit as well as up to 6 weeks once discharged. I will be able to support you emotionally as well as physically.
My services will be the same as outlined under my postnatal section but I must emphasise that I will not act up as a neonatal nurse but as a doula.