Meet Manasi, Preemie Parent Mentor
My preemie(s) was born at: 34 weeks
Days spent in the NICU: 10
Parent of Multiples: No
Our NICU Journey included: High-risk pregnancy, bedrest, breastfeeding, pumping.
Before my daughter was born at 34 weeks, I had been on bedrest for 10 weeks and had several hospital visits to stop preterm labor. When she was born, I was both scared (because she was early) but relieved (because I could see her). The nurses at my NICU were amazing and really helped my husband and I learn how to give her a bath, hold her, and feed her. They gave us a crash course in taking care of her and I am so grateful for that. The hardest part was leaving the hospital without her and I cried for days.
It’s been wonderful watching my daughter grow! I became a Graham’s Foundation Preemie Parent Mentor because I want to support parents whose journey started even before the NICU, when they are first told they are high risk or are put on bedrest. I know from personal experience that it makes the whole pregnancy and birth even more challenging when you’re high risk. I want to provide a listening ear so they can express their thoughts and emotions in a safe environment.
Manasi’s tips for new NICU parents:
- Leverage ALL the resources in the NICU (nurses, doctors, lactation consultants) to help you while your little one is in the NICU.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
- Allow your friends and family to support you with whatever you need.
Late-Term Preemie Support
Having a late-term preemie may seem like an easy journey when compared with the roller-coaster ride of having a micropreemie, but late-term preemies can still have feeding challenges, breathing issues, health concerns, and a stressful NICU stay. Because late-term preemies are nearly as big as newborns, many people assume they are equally resilient when that’s not usually the case.