Every expectant mother is looking forward to the moment of her child’s birth, has carefully planned each step, and is waiting for the first meeting with her baby. She has imagined these moments how they will evolve, in the ideal way, childbirth, the first impact of their eyes, the first caresses, the first breastfeeding, their return home.
Unexpected events, however, can result in premature birth, a few weeks or even a few months before the expected date of delivery. There are a variety of emotional consequences this event can cause to the new mother.
The mother’s anger and guilt may be significant because she believes that something must have been wrong for the baby to be born prematurely, that she caused it.
She experiences intense frustration and disappointment as she is forced to spend the first time away from her baby, does not live the first ideal moments she imagined, her dream did not come true the way she would have liked.
Possibly this removal from her baby creates the feeling that she failed, that she is not a good mother since the “good mothers” must be close to their children from the first moment and take care of them.
Intense is the feeling of worry, anxiety, fear, confusion, and helplessness for what will eventually happen to the baby and his health.
Still, the new mother can feel great sadness and even despair that she can’t do anything as the evolution and future of her baby is beyond her control. Some parents feel that it is not their “own” baby while in neonatal intensive care.
As time goes by, challenges and trials usually diminish and are easier to deal with. As the infant grows older and his health remains stable, the new mother will be able to hold and take care of it more and more, and the clinic staff will help her. Thus, she will gradually become more confident, less anxious, and feel more able and ready to come closer and connect with her baby.