10 Things a NICU Mom Doesn’t Want to Hear

10 Things a NICU Mom Doesn’t Want to Hear | Baby Chick

10 Things a NICU Mom Doesn’t Want to Hear

After a grueling, non-medicated 38 hour labor, I finally delivered with the help of a very last-minute epidural. My daughter was born a month early, and weighed only 3 pounds. She spent 9 days in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) and the experience was not what I had imagined for the birth of my first child. There were many difficulties and challenges to overcome while my daughter was in the NICU, but what surprised me the most was some of the comments and advice I received from family, friends, and even strangers! If you ever find yourself in the predicament of reassuring or comforting a family member or friend who has a newborn in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, here is a list of 10 things not to say to a NICU mom!

“It must be nice not to have your baby in your hospital room while you recover.”

Do not say this! During those couple recovery days, I would have given anything to have my baby with me. Although it may seem like an innocent comment, it is upsetting to a mom who has to leave the comfort of her room, travel sometimes several floors to the NICU, and sit in a room with other moms and nurses bustling around just to be with her baby.

“This gives you more time with your husband.”

No offense babe, but I’m always with you, and would love to be with my brand new baby. It doesn’t mean I don’t love you; you’re just not the pressing priority.

“Having your baby in the NICU gives you more time to rest and prepare meals and your home for when she comes home.”

My daughter had to stay in the NICU for 9 days, and unfortunately my hospital was not willing to host me for that length of time. I was discharged after just two days . . . without my baby. Leaving the hospital with an empty car seat was one of the most heartbreaking and emotionally crushing things my husband and I have ever faced. We knew she would eventually come home, but leaving without her was devastating, to say the least.

We were not cleaning and making bulk freezer friendly meals waiting for our baby to get discharged, we were traveling back and forth to the hospital, where we would spend virtually all day sitting in our daughter’s room, I was pumping so she would have breast milk even though she was too small to nurse, and living off Tim Hortons (which is delicious, just not for every meal). That’s not my definition of restful. It was much more draining and exhausting than just being able to snuggle up on my couch, dressed in whatever I wanted to put on and enjoy my new baby who slept all day.

“To be able to recover without worrying about your baby must be nice.”

Worry is all I did while my baby was receiving Intensive Care. Because I did have to sleep, at least for a couple of hours I wasn’t able to be with her 24/7 like I would have been able to at home. And during those hours I worried myself sick. Was she okay? Did she eat this time? Was she able to maintain her temperature yet? A million things! Trust me; recovery is harder when you’re so worried that you can’t rest.

When are WE going to be able to visit your baby?

Receiving visitors was its own stressor. Because there were only two visitors allowed in her room at a time, and one of them had to be a parent, we had to take people back one at a time. Not so bad, except my husband and I are both from families of seven! And most of our siblings also have spouses or significant others, who were dying to meet our bundle. Honestly, if you’re not immediate family or a very close friend, do not expect to visit a baby who is in the NICU.

“It must have been nice to deliver such a small baby.”

Although my insides were very happy that she was only three pounds, I would gladly have carried and delivered a larger baby if it meant she would have been healthy and been able to come home.

You have to try harder to breastfeed because she’s a preemie.

Although breast milk is magical, especially for underweight babies, I was not able to put her to the breast because she would lose weight if exclusively breastfeeding. Pumping and bottle feeding was our way of life, and that was just as wonderful.

“Stop worrying, she’s being taken care of.”

Again, do not tell a NICU mom to stop worrying. Just don’t!

“I hope she doesn’t have mental or physical delays.”

People who say this are very insensitive. It is by far one of the worst comments to say to a NICU mom. My baby and many others receiving care in said NICU are premature or experiencing other serious issues. Fear of mental and physical delays were at the front of my mind constantly, and I would have loved encouragement, and positive thoughts instead of hearing what my mind was constantly telling me to be afraid of.

“She won’t be able to bond with you or form an attachment since you can’t hold her.

This is just crap. My daughter and I bonded instantly and our attachment was strong. Cuddling, scent cloths, and other tools are used in the NICU setting so mom and baby are encouraged to bond further, even though many times the baby cannot be held immediately.

Being a NICU mom is difficult, and we need the support of our family and friends. Please remember to be a compassionate, listening ear in this time of need.

About the Author /

Kindergarten teacher and mom to my toddler daughter!

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This is so accurate. And happens pretty much anywh This is so accurate. And happens pretty much anywhere we go if we leave the house. 🤦‍♀️😂⁠
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1️⃣ For night feedings. When mom wakes up in the middle of the night, you get up and ask if she needs any help or water. The truth is most of the time she will say no but just the fact that you offered will go far.⁠
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2️⃣ Ask mom if she can pump and then pick 1 feeding that you will always do. Mom will take on almost everything and will burn herself out if you let her. At times you may have to force her to rest without worrying about the baby. This is an easy way to do that without a fight.⁠
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3️⃣ Don't put a time limit on how long mom breastfeeds the baby. It's not just about feeding your child it's about them bonding as well. I know everyone has a different length of time they will breastfeed and as a Dad, it's hard to fully understand. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT try and rush this process. It's not our place and it's not safe. You will open yourself up to a fight you can't win.⁠
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4️⃣ Be patient. I know as a Dad the first few weeks we are equally excited and yet not as important. Your time will come faster than you know. Babies grow fast and the stronger and bigger they get the more Daddy Time will be coming your way.⁠
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5️⃣ Paternity leave! If you have it TAKE IT. The early stages of a child's life are not just for moms to enjoy. I know as men making the money especially after having a baby it's hard, but trust me. You can always make money but there are no instant replays in life. It doesn't make you more of a man to not take the leave. It's equally as important that you as a Dad get to be a part of the early development of your child. ⁠
If someone needs this info tag them ❤️⁠
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Absolutely love these tips from @chroniclesofdaddy. 🙌
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📷 taken by: @allisonermon_photography
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Potty Training Tips! A step-by-step guide 🚽⁠ Potty Training Tips! A step-by-step guide 🚽⁠
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1️⃣ Look for signs of readiness:⁠
- Diaper dry for at least 1-2 hours.⁠
- Pulling at their diaper when its wet or soiled.⁠
- Hiding or fidgeting when going pee or poo in diaper.⁠
- Interest in others using the potty.⁠
- Waking up with a dry diaper after naps.⁠
- Telling you when they have gone pee or poo.⁠
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Potty training is much quicker if your child is showing the above signs, but you can start before this.⁠
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2️⃣ What you will need to buy:⁠
- Toilet seat insert to place on your toilet⁠
- Steps⁠
- Underwear (at least 10 pairs)⁠
- Foldable toilet seat (for when you are out of the house)⁠
- Piddle pad (for car journeys)⁠
- Waterproof shoes such as crocs, sliders, etc. (they can be rinsed and dried)⁠
- Not necessary but helpful: flushable wipes⁠
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3️⃣ Getting yourself and your child prepared:⁠
- Talk to your child about using the potty, maybe take them into the bathroom when you go and talk them through the process (e.g. wiping, flushing, and washing hands, etc.)⁠
- Practice pulling pants or shorts up and down.⁠
- Look on YouTube with your child at some potty training stories (e.g. 'I Want My Potty' and 'Pirate Pete's Potty')⁠
- Involve your child in choosing and buying everything you need - choosing character-themed underwear is usually very exciting!⁠
- Sit your child on the potty at every diaper change, first thing in the morning and just before bed to get them used to sitting on the toilet.⁠
- Teach your child the correct vocabulary or signs needed to communicate when they need to go potty.⁠
- Make sure you have plenty of spare clothes.⁠
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4️⃣ Let's get toilet trained:⁠
- Get your child to choose a pair of underwear and put them on.⁠
- Talk to them about using the toilet and communicating when they need to pee or poo. You can sit them on the toilet at this point if you wish.⁠
- Take your child to the toilet every 15/20 minutes. Say "let's go to the potty" rather than asking "do you want to go to the toilet" - if you ask, they are likely to say no! Also, look for signs like moving from side-to-side or hiding. These are normal signs that they might need to go potty.⁠
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(Continue reading in the comments!)