Neonatologist Lists The Dos And Don'ts For Friends And Family Of NICU Parents - Health Digest


The first thing you can do is offer support, according to Dr. Elliott. “Recognize NICU parents are stressed and overwhelmed,” says Dr. Elliott. “Ask how you can help, by bringing meals and assisting with errands and household chores or offer to help with carpooling or babysitting their other children.” It’s important to listen or provide a shoulder to cry on. “You can also offer to go with them when talking with the doctor as another ‘set of ears’ to hear what is said,” suggests Dr. Elliott. “It’s hard to hear everything when under the stress of having your baby in the NICU. Close friends and family can sometimes help parents better remember what was said and understand what is happening with their baby.”

Another concrete thing that you can do is to help put together a bag for them to have at the hospital. Dr. Elliott recommends the list put together by Hand to Hold, which includes things like hand lotion, healthy snacks, a heating pad for your neck, gift cards to nearby restaurants, a shawl, and a phone charger. Dr. Elliott echoes the suggestion for a phone charger so you’re not left without any battery if or when you need to check in with loved ones, And while it may seem like time in the NICU isn’t time you want to remember, Dr. Elliott recommends parents remember to take pictures since “babies change so quickly!”


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