Recently, on Facebook, we asked parents of preemies a simple question: did you know the NICU before your baby was admitted? As in, did you know where and what the NICU was? Was it part of the prenatal hospital tour? Did your care provider talk about premature birth and the possibility that your baby might spend time in the neo-natal intensive care unit? Overwhelmingly, the answer was NO.
Surprising? Not really. Maybe it’s to avoid scaring pregnant women who already have so much to worry about, but we’ve found that very few mothers and fathers are informed of the possibility – or even the fact of – premature birth and what could happen after an early birth. Preemie parents of multiples tend to get more information about the NICU during pregnancy but even then, it can be cursory.
We’d love to know what your experiences were – do any of the below responses to our informal poll resonate? We got a lot of simple nos in response to our question but some parents chose to elaborate and we’ve shared some of their answers here.