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September is NICU Awareness Month. If you are not familiar, the NICU or neonatal intensive care unit is a special section of a hospital’s nursery that provides special care to sick and premature babies.
You may know of a friend or family member that has had a child in the NICU. It can be quite difficult and emotionally challenging. Depending upon the situation it may be even life or death.
I know personally for me I felt helpless. Although I know that he was receiving the very best possible care, I just felt as though I should be able to help him. I would spend the majority of my day there so that I could at least feed him a few times. Thankfully my son only had to spend about 20 days in the NICU before he was released to come home. However, for some families, this may not be the case.
If you do have know someone there here a few things that you can do to help.
Although it can be an emotional time, sometimes you just need a shoulder to cry on. Literally. Be there to provide support. Lucky for me I have a very strong support system. So I was able to talk things out with family and close friends. They really helped me get through with their sincere words and
After ensuring they have your emotional support they may also need your support in other ways. If there are other children or family members at home this is especially helpful. In my case, I was unable to drive after having a C-section so for the first week I needed a ride to and from the hospital.
Try and not take offense if the family does not want to talk or your help. Remember emotions are high they are not trying to be rude or shut you out. They just need some space to sort through what is going on. I had a brief moment of this. Just be on standby for when they do come around.
As September comes to a close, the awareness doesn’t have to. If you are able to reach out to one of your local charitable organizations or a hospital in your area to find out how you can help.