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Preemie Parent Health & Wellness

Meet Andrea, Preemie Parent Mentor

My preemie(s) was born at: 23 weeks, 5 days
Days spent in the NICU: 117
Current age of preemie(s): 5
Parent of Multiples: No
Our NICU Journey included: PPROMS (Pre-term premature rupture of membranes: before 37 weeks), Pre-viable PPROMS (before 24 weeks), PDA ligation, nissen fundoplication, gtube insertion/feedings, laser eye surgery.

I have my Masters and PhD in exercise and sport science, and have been active all of my life. In April 2010, my daughter was born at 23 weeks and 5 days gestation and weighed 1 pound 3.7 ounces. She spent 117 days in the NICU and has had several surgeries including PDA ligation, laser eye for ROP, Nissen fundoplication, and g-tube insertion. I first came to Grahams as runner raising money for the Foundation via a marathon fundraiser. My goal as a Graham’s Foundation Parent Resource volunteer is to help other preemie parents find the best way to maintain a healthy active lifestyle and incorporate healthy eating into their daily routine, even when prematurity makes that challenging. I was inspired to become a volunteer because I wanted to:

Help parents know they are not alone in the NICU and beyond
Make sure they know how to properly take care of themselves
Give back to the NICU community
Remind moms and dads to have hope, be resilient, and to believe in miracles

Preemie Parent Wellness

Parents in general tend to put their children’s wellbeing first, but moms and dads of preemies – because they are facing a whole other level of challenges – may neglect their own emotional and physical health entirely to the point of breakdown. But to care for a preemie, parents must first care for themselves.