The NICU experience...words to describe it: Terrifying, stressful, saddening, maddening, traumatic, disempowering, fearful, unpredictable, scary, mystifying, changing, bizarre lights, jarring sounds, life and death, tubes, new languages, new people, infection, struggle, adjustment, exhaustion, the unknown, the unexpected, lack of time, too much time, stress, fear, fear, fear. Simply using word association to describe the experience brings back the sensation...Read More
Filtering by Category: Survival Skills
The NICU is full of suffering. There’s really no use sugar-coating it. A baby is suffering, and a mother is suffering, and a father is suffering, each in their own way. Sure, we all try hard to find the positive and make the best of it. In fact, I spend most of my time - as a bedside nurse as well as a writer here - trying to soften the pain and find the positives in the experience. It’s good to look at the bright side. But in truth, I find it refreshing - and so do most parents - to be honest and accepting of the undeniable pain that is present. For some families...Read More
Bonding in the NICU is a struggle, but one of the very easiest ways to connect is to read aloud to your little one. Babies know their parents voices, so hearing you reading will comfort and connect you both. Are you worried you'll sound foolish or weird reading to your little baby in the NICU? Believe me - don't worry about it! There are a million weirder things that go on in the NICU every day - reading to your baby is not one of them....Read More
Rachel* hated big groups, and yet she found herself heading towards the strange little conference room in the basement of the hospital. After a month of hearing about the group, she sheepishly opened the door - nervous, hesitant, maybe a little embarrassed? - to participate in her hospital’s NICU support group.
She seriously considered turning around and heading home....Read More
The NICU - ugh! Seriously, could it be any more sterile, medical, institutional, and scary? Could it possibly be less homey, comforting, welcoming and familiar?
In my quest to make the NICU a bit more bearable for parents, I need to share with you a key ingredient to NICU happiness...Read More
Every family enjoys celebrating as baby gets to one month, two months, and so on. NICU families do too! Have you seen those cute onesies for babies that show just how old the baby is, great for photographing your sweet little one's first year?....Read More
Without a doubt, the NICU is a stressful place. But recently, I decided to help parents reclaim a little bit of joy with their NICU baby. Try out a few of these suggestions, and see if you can make your journey a little more fun....Read More
Are you ready for something new? I am. It's time to have a little FUN in the NICU. Wait, did I just write that? Can you really put "NICU" and "fun" in a sentence together? Yes, I did. And, yes you can. At least, that's my goal....Read More
I can't say enough about how helpful mindfulness can be for surviving the NICU. Here are a few of my favorite practices specifically designed for parents in the NICU. I love these practices, because they are great for increasing your mindfulness and calming your energy while you are spending your time with your baby. I also love these practices because....Read More
Parents overwhelmingly report that noise in the NICU is annoying, frustrating, maddening... a supreme nuisance! Why do they have to be so loud?!? And why don't the nurses respond to them all?!?....Read More
Here is a lovely article from the New York Times about live music therapy for NICU patients - it's a video worth watching. And then it's worth talking with your NICU about how you might incorporate music therapy for your little one. Not every NICU has access to this kind of therapy, but if parents start asking,Read More
I love this article from the Los Angeles Times. Please read it, it's short and sweet. And it resonates on so many levels for families with infants in the NICU. It centers around the fact that many people don't know how to properly, kindly support people in a crisis....Read More
Today I'd like to discuss bonding with an infant in the NICU, particularly if you are interested in using some attachment parenting ideas. Many of you have heard about attachment parenting, others of you may not. As the Attachment Parenting International website explains....Read More