- Ask if there’s anything needed, there is always something needed. And keep asking. It is better to ask of specific things based on what you can sense.
- If she has older children that need to be taken care of, offer to help watch or care for them while she Visits or is at the NICU.
- Mothers of NICU babies are at a higher risk for mood and anxiety disorders, such as postpartum depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Friends and family can help recognize symptoms and may be able to persuade them to see a mental health professional.
- If you are close to the family, Bring food & treats. The new mom will likely be spending long days in the NICU, and like anyone recovering from birth, she will be hungry.
- If they haven’t made any arrangement. Organize someone to clean their house & do their laundry.
- Provide a shoulder to cry on and a hand to hold. Listen, offer kind words and be aware of your language. Be a listening ear without comparing babies or experiences.
- Give Her Space When She Needs It. Let Her Cry, Complain, Or Be Angry Without Judgement
- When they are back home, do not show up unannounced, for hygiene reasons and because most babies & moms are on a strict schedule of feeding, changing and pumping.
- Offer to come sit with her or help with hospital runs if her partner is not available.
- Keep supporting her after the baby comes home. She needs help now more than ever, as she slowly recovers from birth, navigates nursing or pumping, taking care of the older kids (if she has) and continues to care for the new baby.
Other ways you can support include:
- Give what you can. Having a NICU baby is not only exhausting and stressful, it’s expensive
- Share emotional support resources
- Help with logistics
What did we miss? What support did you need or get that you would have or really did appreciate? Pls share