Michelle Duggar has given birth 17 times, but mothering a preemie has been a new experience for her.
has given birth 17 times, but mothering a preemie has been a new experience for her. I recently had the chance to chat with the mom of 19 and her husband Jim Bob
and how their family dynamic has changed since the baby's December arrival.
LilSugar: You mentioned taking health precautions, but what are some of the other adjustments parents have to make in tending to a preemie?
Michelle Duggar: Initially, her (Josie's) feeds were so different than those of a full-term baby. At first, it was just a few drops and then it was a continuous feed because they had her on a feeding tube. We had to start feeding from a bottle so I would pump my breast milk and put it in the bottle and she had to learn how to suck, swallow, and breathe and that was a whole new experience because I had to learn how to hold the bottle and help her as she started to choke and until she was able to learn that process. Of course, she's learned it really well!
We're probably doing the same things we did with all of our other children — playing with her, talking to her, and giving her a lot of stimulation when she is awake and having her playtime, but I'm more focused about it now than ever. I think — did we move her legs enough? Is she standing, jumping up and down, and moving enough? — I want to make sure she's getting all of that activity. I have a checklist in my mind and I have a chart of all of her feeds, poops, and when she goes tinkle — I write it all down. I did not ever do that with my others — it wasn't that big of a deal. With her, it's this idea of watching her grow and develop and we want to make sure she gets to each one of these landmarks so we can check it off. That's more of a difference. My family probably doesn't even notice.
To see the Duggar's tips for staying connected while a child in the hospital and find out how long they will tape, read more