Every year, thousands of parents find themselves in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), thrown into parenthood weeks or even months before their baby was supposed to arrive.
Lindsay Baxt, the mother of a premature baby, described her own NICU experience:
“I went into pre-term labor at 25 weeks, and our daughter came into this world far too early but feisty and ready to give it her all. From her birth, we patiently waited to be able to hold her. Finally, after 30 days, we got permission. Before we got that chance, we were instantly shot down when she got an infection and needed a line (thus, too fragile to be handled). I was defeated. I cried all night dreading coming into the unit. [Our nurse] knew that this was a day I had been counting down to and behind the scenes with our doctors cleared the path for us to finally hold our daughter. He gave us privacy amidst a stark hospital setting and made that moment the most special it could be.”
Since 2011, Nov. 17 has marked World Prematurity Day, which gives visibility to the needs and rights of premature babies and their families and raises awareness of the importance of quality healthcare. In honor of this day, WaterWipes®, the world’s purest baby wipe that’s also pediatrician approved, is sharing tips healthcare professionals can share with preemie parents on how to navigate the NICU experience:
Premature babies’ skin is especially delicate and can have an impact on their overall health.
Newborn baby skin does not have the barrier layers of cells that older children have. It’s important for parents to avoid chemicals and fragrances when caring for their premature baby’s skin. WaterWipes® prides itself on being purer than cloth and water. All WaterWipes® contain minimal ingredients – just 99.9% water and a drop of fruit extract, which acts as a natural skin conditioner — making them suitable for a premature baby’s skin. WaterWipes® is the wipe of choice for over 300 NICUs in the U.S.
Let go of the journey you imagined. Premature baby development is unpredictable, and each baby is on their own unique path.
Every premature baby is different and will develop on their own timeline. Staying in the NICU is an emotional experience, and it’s important to remind parents to not compare their baby’s development to other preemies. Premature baby development is unpredictable, and each baby is on their own unique path.
Finding support in the NICU community can help you through the post-NICU experience.
It can feel overwhelming when parents find themselves in the NICU when they weren’t expecting to meet their baby quite yet. Helping to foster friendships between NICU parents can help parents feel less alone. Many parents would love to connect with others who understand the experience of being in the NICU. WaterWipes® also offers affirmation cards and pledge cards that parents can add to their toolbox to manifest confidence and positivity and promote self-care.
Additional organizations can provide resources and support.
WaterWipes® works with several organizations throughout the U.S. that are doing incredible work to support premature babies and their families.
- Bryce’s NICU Project – Devoted to showing love, support, and encouragement to parents with babies in the NICU of local Texas hospitals since 2015, the organization provides gifts and lunches for parents during the holidays and strives to have gifts available for parents year-round.
- Canada Premature Baby Foundation – This parent-led non-profit organization provides education, support and advocacy for Canada’s premature babies and their families. In 2020, the organization won the EFCNI Award, which recognizes organizations with excellent engagement and achievements in the field of maternal or newborn health.
- Miracle Babies – Dedicated to helping perinatal mothers and their families during their time of need by providing transportation, mental health assistance, and supportive services, Miracle Babies has supported 8,000+ families since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Project Sweet Peas – This national non-profit organization provides support to families and caregivers of premature or sick infants and families impacted by pregnancy and infant loss. Parents and families of NICU babies can turn to Project Sweet Peas for NICU care packages, remembrance memory boxes, hospital events, peer-to-peer support groups, NICU family financial aid and educational materials. To date, Project Sweet Peas has awarded $124,000 in funding to NICU parents.
For more information and resources to share with NICU parents, visit the WaterWipes® website.