Childbirth, it’s supposed to be a joyful time. However, for new mothers, giving birth to a preemie can be very frightening. They may feel isolated and scared in the NICU. This is why it is so important for loved ones to provide the support the parents need to get through difficult times. If you have a loved one with a newborn in the neonatal intensive care unit, consider the following tips to help them.
Reach Out For Emotional Support
Sending a message of encouragement to the new mother is very important, but it’s also important to remember that she’s not able to respond to everyone.
Try to avoid trying to relate to the new mother. This is because unless you have a child with the same challenges, you may not know how the mom feels. Instead, just listen. This is the mother’s most important need during this time.
Offer To Drive Family To The Hospitals
One of the easiest ways to help a new mother is by offering a ride to the hospital. Since we live an hour away, my friends in Kansas City would often give me rides to the facility. My husband or mother would also visit during the evening.
Prepare Meals Or Provide Money Towards Meals
One of the most important things new parents can do is prepare a home-cooked meal. This will allow them to eat at their own pace and avoid hospital food. Another idea is to make individual portions that can be brought to the NICU for lunch.
If you can, give a gift certificate to a local restaurant. My husband and I would often go out to eat after the hospital. It was nice to have dinner together without having to talk about the day.
Help With Household Or Pet Needs
During this time, my mom, sister-in-law, and my friend did the laundry and cleaned the house. It was nice to have a clean house, especially since they knew I would not ask. Buy pet food and walk the dog, making the stay in the NICU easier for the new parents.
Be Available For Emotional Support
One of the most important things you can do for a new parent is to let them know that you’re there for them. You should also be willing to listen to their thoughts and feelings. According to Kelley, the parents should know that their emotions are normal.