10 Pieces of Advice From Former NICU Moms to New Ones

For new mothers, time spent in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is stressful, to say the least. It can be an emotional time with lots of ups and downs, unknowns, little sleep and constant fear.

With the help of NICU Helping Hands, The Mighty asked former NICU moms what advice they’d give to new NICU moms to help them through their hospital stays.

This is what they had to say:

1. “You are your baby’s advocate. Don’t be afraid to speak up or ask questions.” — Elena Greer

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2. “Spend all the time you can at the NICU with your baby. It makes a huge difference.” — Anna Campbell Mueller

3. “Stay informed, and cherish the memories.” — Elise Martinez Esparza

4. “Just keep going, keep praying, keep hoping, keep pumping, keep walking, keep loving. One day at a time” — Amy Dantzler

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5. “Take a lot of pictures and videos of your baby with family and friends who come to visit. Those memories will last forever, and you can always look back on them to see how far your baby has come.” — Heidi Hughes

6. Kangaroo care as much as you are allowed or able. It’s good for you and baby!” — Chelsea Murphy

7. “Take the time to get sleep. Even though the nurses and doctors are amazing, it’s hard to let yourself sleep. Do it. You will be more focused and able to make some of those tougher decisions if you sleep. Many NICUs have a room where you can go for a few hours, so you are close. Utilize it!” — Emma Davis

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8. “Be a sponge. The nurses are an amazing source of knowledge. Ask questions and don’t be afraid to ask for clarification when you don’t understand the answers. You’ll learn so much more once you slow down and breathe.” — Megan Williams

9. “Breathe. Try to remain calm, and remember your baby is in the best hands possible.” — Kimberly Melina

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*Answers have been edited and shortened.

Are you a former or current NICU mom? What advice would you give to new moms? Let us know in the comments below.

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