Shortly after my daughter was born, someone gifted me a baby book. I couldn't open it without crying...nothing in it made sense to me. Sections like "On the day you were born I felt _____" made me want to write "terrified" not "happy." Since I couldn't find anything that really told my baby's story, I created these supplements instead. They won't replace traditional baby books but it gives you a place to tell your baby's unique preemie story as well as their normal stats. Just print the pages that make sense to you!
What can I do to help?
When someone you care about has a premature baby it’s natural to want to help out. Often their baby came unexpectedly so the new parents may not know how to answer that question. Chances are they are feeling overwhelmed and scared. The NICU veterans on TB gathered together a list of ideas and suggestions to give you direction. Perhaps you are the new preemie mom – here are some ideas for when people ask. During this time you should be concentrating on your LO and your SO (and don’t forget yourself!). When someone wants to help, allow them. You won’t regret it!
or select something from their registry.
Things to say/not to say:
Instead of, "Oh, he's so tiny!" try "Oh, what a beautiful baby!" NICU is intimidating – tune it all out. Your friend needs you to be strong.
Please don’t ask, "So does this mean he'll have health problems later on?"
One of our least favorite lines: "When can I come visit you and bring my 2 germy toddlers who are sick? I really want to see the baby!" You get the point! Instead say, "I'd love to visit when you are up for it. I'll be sure to leave my kids at home and make sure my hands are washed."
Compliment them on their adorable babies! Tell them how great they look in all those FB pictures. If you don’t see many give some gentle encouragement. Maybe she’s worried she’ll frighten others.
Weeks later don't admit that you were worried their baby was going to have the "alien preemie look" and how glad you were they wound up looking "normal."
Tell us about YOU – we want to be distracted!
However not all moms do. Again, tread lightly and assess her mood. One mom wrote, “Don’t assume since my baby is in the NICU that means I want to get out and have coffee and girl time. All I want to do is be with my baby. Offer to bring coffee to me, but don't think this is a great time to catch up after weeks of bedrest since I "don't have to worry about bringing the baby out."
Remember that it's not just mom going through this, it's DH too. Please, please remember dad! Volunteer to take on some of his "man tasks" like mowing the lawn; he’s scared and overwhelmed, too.
Is she crafty? Bring supplies! or maybe she’d like a crochet lesson from you!
We hope this helps you help them or you help yourselves…………..you know what I mean! NICU is an abyss. It’s hard. It’s tiring. It will end. It doesn’t feel like it will, but it does, and you’ll even have some fond memories. Remember to save your baby’s first diaper! You’ll be amazed when you see it down the line.
The Preemie Moms
Connect with preemie moms on our Facebook Page!
Preemie moms have told us that these groups are great resources for NICU parents. They are not associated with this blog in any way.
Pictures of Hope
This national network of photographers will come to the NICU and take pictures of your family for free.
Graham's Foundation! They will send care packages to the hospital for preemie families.
Will send blankets to sick babies and children. This is a great way to give back when you are home too!
The Bump -- Preemie Board
Preemies need special care and their moms need support. You'll find other moms with preemie babies right here.
The following online stores specialize in preemie products:
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