1- My parents are my voice and my best advocates; therefore, hospital policies, including visiting hours and rounding, should be as inclusive as possible.
2-In order to be prepared to meet my needs when I am discharged, my parents need to understand my medical diagnosis. Be patient with them and teach them well.
3-Bonding is crucial for my development. Allow and encourage my parents to hold me as often as possible.
4-Help prepare my parents to be my primary caregivers when I go home. Encourage them to participate in as much of my daily care as possible.
5-Feeding me helps my parents feel "normal." Please allow them to feed me by bottle or breast, whichever is working best for me and my parents. Help reassure my mom it's okay if she doesn't produce milk.
6-If I, or one of my siblings, pass away while in the NICU, remember to continue to refer to us as multiples (twin/triplet/quads, etc.). It is important to my parents that you continue to honor and acknowledge each of our lives.
7-Although I may be a late-term preemie, the NICU can still be a very traumatic place for my parents. Ensure they receive just as much TLC, information, education, and as many resources as the parents of my micro-preemie friend.
8-Encourage my parents to attend care conferences and schedule them regularly. They are a vital component of Family - Centered Care and they help to educate my parents about my progress and long-term prognosis.
9-My parents have the right to know all about me. Let them have open access to my medical records and encourage their questions.
10-My parents are experiencing a range of challenging emotions. Please be patient, listen to them, and lend your support. Share information about resources such as peer-to-peer support programs, support groups and counseling, which will help reduce PTSD, PPD, anxiety and depression.
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