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 really 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 really 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 heart-breaking 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.

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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 siting 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 really my definition of restful. In fact, it was much more draining and exhausting than just being able to snuggle up on my own couch, dressed in whatever I wanted to put on, and enjoy my new baby who slept literally 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 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? Literally 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 with 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 basically 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.

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“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 babies that are under weight, I was not able to put her to 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 other 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.

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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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Instagram post 17905061554388493 A little compassion can go a long way. ❤️ Here are some things that can help when in doubt ⁠what to do.⁠
📷: @healthline⁠
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Instagram post 18004974676264288 Or try to open the door mid-pee⁠. 😑😑😑 Thanks, kid.⁠
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Instagram post 17852873872664390 Harvesting colostrum . . . look at all of that liquid gold!⁠ 😍 If your baby comes early or you are already lactating before baby arrives, it’s great to hand express into a teaspoon and gather what you’ve collected into a syringe. #breastfeedingtip
📷: @boo.b.ltd
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Instagram post 17899717765403522 ❤️ How to Help When Visiting a New Mom – Podcast Ep 21 ❤️⁠
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Becoming a new mother, whether it be your first baby or your sixth, is filled with so many emotions. 🎢 Figuring out your new normal can take a minute as you recover from giving birth and get to know your new baby. People will be at your doorstep in no time wanting to congratulate you and meet your baby, but sometimes people aren't necessarily thinking about what they can do for YOU to be helpful. If you know someone who has recently had a baby or if you are currently expecting, today’s podcast episode is for you! ❤️ {Link in bio!}⁠
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This episode is brought to you by @skylightframe. It's a digital picture frame that has a touch-screen display that documents all of your family’s special moments—a great gift for yourself or for an expecting or new mom. If you want to bring a nice gift when visiting a new mom, be sure to check out Skylight Frame and use our discount code BABYCHICK for $10 off your order! #ad #skylightframe⁠
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Going to keep it real here, your fitness game is going to change after having kids. If you were crushing it before having babies, you're going to find that the free time for working out isn't what is used to be.⁠
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Regardless of where you were at, there are things you can do to make your heath a priority and be a good example to your little ones.⁠
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1. Don't rush back. There's no gold star here. Take your time, get the clearance from your OB/midwife and start when you're ready.⁠
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2. Schedule your workouts. Like most things in life now, you're on a schedule. Create time in your new life for you -- you'll thank yourself later.⁠
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3. Ask for Help. Chances are high that the Mom down the street is looking for some kid free time as well. You take an hour, she takes an hour and we're all better off for it.⁠
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4.  Embrace the little things. Your day will present opportunities to get your butt moving. Find them.⁠
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5. Get a new outfit. Because, duh.⁠
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6. Join a fitness community. It's scientifically proven that external motivators work when it comes to starting and sticking with a fitness routine. Utilize your community for support and motivation.⁠
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I’ve got my whole world in my hands 🎵
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When you meet your baby(ies) and your whole world changes. 💕
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Instagram post 18110828746014338 The first year after baby is the leading time when marriages break up. The extra stress, lack of sleep, and major life changes can all contribute to communication breakdown and losing intimacy. 💔 That's why protecting relationships is such an important part of postpartum planning (done in pregnancy). Parenthood is an emotionally provocative experience. These heightened emotions help you tune into your baby's needs, but it can also help you tune into each other.⁠
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Speak your partner's love language in postpartum. Send this resource to your loved one so that they can make you feel loved and supported in a meaningful way.⁠
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Instagram post 17934950050319412 EXACTLY! 🙌 I wish more moms knew this and didn't feel pressured to say yes automatically to guests--of course, unless they want to! 😊 But you can always say no and not right now. Take your time to bond with your new baby. If you want people to come over, great! But don't feel bad if you don't and want more time alone with your family. People who love you should understand. ❤️⁠
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Instagram post 17857907638591275 Dinner time with toddlers can oftentimes be hectic and stressful. Sometimes they’ll eat what you’ve made them and other times they won’t. 😒 We’ve been there! This is why we are sharing two yummy dinner recipes that have been toddler approved that the whole family can enjoy—Taco Pizza and Stuffed Sweet Potatoes! 😋
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We substituted sour cream in these recipes with @stonyfield YoBaby yogurt because it provides not only the calcium they need, but also probiotics, protein and vitamin D! 👍 (Our pediatrician says our little guy needs 2-4 servings of dairy per day!) The yogurt still has that tangy flavor that you’re looking for but with even more benefits! Cheers to full tummies and happy families! 🙌 #ad #stonyfield
📹: @trippfilms
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