Here at The Noble Paperie, we want to support women walking through all sorts of motherhood journeys. One of those specific journeys, can be a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) stay. Oftentimes this is incredibly stressful time, full of unknowns, and what seems like neverending visits to the hospital. After our founder experienced a 34-day NICU journey with her son, we wanted to ensure that NICU mamas could find support through The Noble Paperie as well. Below you will find links to different e-books, blogs, articles, websites and communities that are providing support and resources to families during a NICU journey. We hope that these resources help to lift part of the burden of unknowns during a NICU stay. As always, a portion of the sale of each of The Noble Paperie’s products goes directly to Miracle Babies—a nonprofit supporting families with babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). You can watch more about our personal NICU journey through a video we created of our NICU stay, here.
Articles, Glossaries + Blogs
An Overview of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
A quick dive into the NICU experience. It answers questions like, ‘what is the NICU?’, ‘who can visit?’, and ‘how can I help care for my baby?’ A great resource for first-timers, or for family and friends that may not understand your NICU experience.
Grief and Depression in the NICU—Finding the Help You Deserve
Kara Wahlin is a marriage and family therapist and creator behind NICUHealing.com. She joins Every Tiny Thing for a guest blog post outlining the NICU experience, and giving seven steps to finding help if you’re struggling through depression in the NICU.
Self Care at a Glance
A really useful infographic (and free printable!) for six ways to take care of yourself during your child’s time in the NICU. “Never feel guilty for taking care of yourself. You must take care of yourself first, in order to take care of your baby.”
8 Types of Psychotherapy for Postpartum Depression Treatment
Postpartum can be especially prevalent if you are spending time with your baby in the NICU. This post demystifies eight different types of psychotherapy treatments available for Postpartum Depression.
How to Find a Therapist
Being in the NICU for the first time presents many new issues for parents. If you’re struggling, sometimes the best resource is to talk to a counsellor or therapist. If you have never had to look for one, that task may seem daunting. WebMD has put together a resource for the best ways to find the right therapist for you and your situation.
Guiding Parents Through the NICU Experience
Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women and Children is one of the leading hospitals in the country for women’s reproductive health. They also have one of the largest NICUs in the state of California. They have created an extremely useful resource for parents and caregivers walking through a NICU stay.
Connected is a free ebook by Trish of Every Tiny Thing, as a resource for NICU families to find strategies to bond with their babies. As a NICU nurse, Trish has incredible insight and developed an indispensable resource for parents walking through a NICU stay.
A Glossary of Common NICU Terms
This glossary of terms was one of the most comprehensive we could find. It includes sub-groups, including a glossary specifically for medical staff, other members of the team, general NICU terms and common NICU disorders.
Health Benefits of Breast Milk for Moms and NICU Babies
An infographic and free printable outlining the health benefits of breast milk for NICU babies. Did you know human milk causes the intestines to mature faster and decreases infant health issues—all leading to less time spent in the hospital? This infographic also outlines other health benefits of breast milk for NICU babies. Are you unable to pump or produce milk yourself? See below for a link to Mother’s Milk Bank to receive breast milk for your NICU baby!
Websites + Communities
NICU Awareness is a site designed to promote NICU Awareness Month—happening every September. NICU Awareness honors families experiencing a stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and the health professionals who care for the them. In 2014, founding organization Project Sweet Peas joined other professional and parent organizations to raise awareness to the challenges faced in the NICU. They heartened the voices of hundreds of NICU families as they shared their stories and supported efforts to support NICU’s across the country. Please consider joining their community of organizations and individuals passionate about making a difference in the lives of these families.
Every Tiny Thing
Trish, a NICU nurse for over 20 years founded Every Tiny Thing after seeing a need arise to support families walking a NICU journey. Every Tiny Thing offers specialty items specifically suited to the needs of all NICU babies— from resources to actual NICU journals, milestone cards, and crib art you can purchase, Trish has really curated a beautiful site full of resources and gifts to support NICU families.
Hand to Hold
Hand to Hold helps families before, during, and after NICU stays and infant loss by providing powerful resources for the whole family, and most importantly, one-on-one mentoring for someone who has been there. Their website is an excellent place to engage in community, find resources, connect to a mentor or enter a support group. They even offer bereavement support and resources if your NICU Miracle isn’t able to make it home.
NICU Helping Hands
NICU Helping Hands is a hospital based program that expands the support services and level of education provided to parents and other family members who are affected by the hospitalization of a newborn in the NICU. Helping Hands provides customized family support including parent support, parent education, sibling support, memory archiving, bereavement, and antepartum support.
Mother’s Milk Bank
There is scientific evidence that breast milk and donor human milk is the optimal nutrition of choice for the most fragile and vulnerable infants in the NICU. Physicians are ordering donor human milk for infants who are in medical need in other hospital units, as well as at discharge, so they can be home with their families. The Mothers' Milk Bank of San Jose, operating since 1974, is a charter member of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA). Donor milk banks represent a safe and effective approach to obtaining, pasteurizing, and dispensing human milk for use in NICUs and other settings. If you are struggling to produce milk for your infant in the NICU, or once you head home, please reach out to your local NICU or hospital to see if they have an existing relationship with a donor milk bank. If not, you can also inquire with Mother’s Milk Bank directly to see if you qualify.
Preemie Mom Camp
Preemie Mom Camp is a gathering place for preemie moms to discover tips, research and personal stories so they can find comfort and community while their child is in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and beyond. One in 10 babies are born premature, which means daily there are hundreds of moms up late searching the internet and social media for information, validation and support as they learn to navigate life in the NICU. Leah, of Preemie Mom Camp, is a three time preemie mom, a preeclampsia survivor, a mama to one angel born too soon, and a two-time NICU graduate mom. She works to foster a blog and community to support families before and after they journey through the NICU.
Preemie Prints is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization supporting and sharing hope with families who have a baby born prematurely or critically ill. Their programs include: the gift of no-charge NICU & NICU graduate photography, giving the gift of handmade items, and online support. They donate handmade items to partner NICUs and to current NICU families. Check their website and NICU photography map to see if they have a photography volunteer near you!
Postpartum Support International
With 1 in 7 moms and 1 in 10 dads suffering from postpartum depression, there is a growing need for a resource. Parents with children in the NICU can experience higher rates of postpartum depression and Postpartum Support International provides direct peer-to-peer support to families and professionals, and provides a bridge to connect them.
PSI Hotline: 1-800-944-4773
Ronald McDonald House
Helping a sick child fight their illness takes a big enough emotional toll on a family. Adding a financial strain can make it all almost too much to bear. Ronald McDonal House can help address those problems, whether they involve housing that’s near a hospitalized child, the expense of staying together in another city, or even getting basic medical and dental care in a vulnerable community. Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) has local Chapters in more than 64 countries and regions with access to Ronald McDonald Houses, Family Rooms and Care Mobiles. If you are struggling through financials to visit your child in the NICU, or need help with housing, please check their website to see if there is a chapter location near you.