This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of March of Dimes. The opinions and text are all mine. Please see my disclosure statement.
I don’t have statistics, but I’ve yet to meet a fellow mom who hasn’t been touched in some way by a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit experience.
When I share my two separate experiences – about my 2 NICU babies, Sawyer and J.C. – women who’ve been there, too, nod in understanding. Others share similar stories of friends and family who have had NICU babies, too.
How Can We Encourage Moms of NICU Babies?
But I’ve learned through having friends with NICU babies and having my own NICU babies, people don’t always know what to say to moms with babies in the NICU. Here are my suggestions…
What to Say – and NOT Say – to Moms of NICU Babies
“He’s so tiny! How adorable.”
Of course, he’s precious. But moms of micro-preemies and preemies may not be reveling in how adorable their baby’s tiny size is. They are more likely too busy worrying about the tiny size of their baby’s lungs and the struggles and potential complications preemies face.
“He has his daddy’s beautiful eyes!”
Comment on other adorable features than the baby’s tiny size. A premature baby might be tiny and have a unique look, but mom and dad will still appreciate someone seeing their own features in their baby.
“Can I come visit?!”
You know how having visitors at the hospital and when you have a newborn at home can be kind of… crazy? Multiply that by 100. Plus, most NICUs have very strict visitation policies to protect the NICU babies from germs.
“I’m here if you need someone to talk to?”
With that strict visitation policy, the NICU can feel like a pretty lonely place. Let your friend know you’re only a phone call away if she needs to talk on the phone or to share over coffee in the waiting room.
Quite frankly, sometimes it’s not. Not every NICU mama has a happy ending. Not every baby comes home.
“I will be here for you.”
Instead of predicting the future, just make sure your friend knows you’ll be there for her. No matter the outcome.
Don’t say nothing. Yes, your friend is busy. Her cell phone will be locked in the NICU locker while she’s doing skin to skin. Her computer might be neglected while she stays in the NICU parent room.
Make the phone call. Send a quick Facebook message. She’ll hear your voicemail or read your message eventually. And she’ll love you for it.
You Can Send Encouragement to a NICU Family TODAY!
To further their mission of improving the health of babies and preventing premature birth, birth defects, and infant mortality, the March of Dimes has launched the Give them tomorrow initiative. You can take action TODAY to help give families with premature babies the chance to celebrate their baby’s firsts by either writing a card of hope to a mother and a premature baby in the NICU or donating to the March of Dimes.
Here’s how to Give them tomorrow…
- Share a social media post (of encouragement or sharing one of your baby’s firsts) with the hashtags #babysfirst and #givethemtomorrow (must use both hashtags)
- Write a digital message of hope with a card that will be delivered to a family with a baby in the NICU
- Donate to March of Dimes to support research to find the causes and treatments for premature birth
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of March of Dimes. The opinions and text are all mine.