Meet Tala, Preemie Parent Mentor
My preemie(s) was born at: 31 and 1day
Days spent in the NICU: 39
Current age of preemie(s): 1
Parent of Multiples: No
Our NICU Journey included: Pre Eclampsia, bed rest, IUGR, pumping and breastfeeding, postpartum issues for mom.
I knew how I wanted labor and delivery to go, but God had another plan. In an instant, I went from working full time to being a first time mom. My husband and I found ourselves on a bumpy preemie journey. The NICU can be a very intimidating place. I want other parents to know that they should not let it get the best of them. It is OK to be emotional and long to have your baby home. It’s OK to feel like you’re overwhelmed or scared at times. Take things day by day and find a way to center yourself. Personally, I loved to do skin to skin with my daughter. That’s when I was completely comfortable.
My hope as I join Graham’s Foundation’s Mentor Program is to encourage breastfeeding and pumping and to be a general support for NICU parents, both in the NICU and transitioning home Personally, being at home with this little bitty baby was the hardest time. There are a lot of adjustments to be made and tons of emotions and questions. I want mom’s to know it is OK to feel this and to lean on someone who has been through it before. I want to be a listening ear and give fellow NICU parents comfort.
My advice to new parents is:
~The NICU is scary at first but, take hope! You will learn to navigate it.
~Everything may feel overwhelming at first, but take it one step at a time and ask as many questions to help learn and understand as much as you possibly can.
Breastfeeding a Preemie & Pumping Support
While not every preemie – or preemie mom – can breastfeed, many preemie parents want to give their babies the benefits of breast milk (also sometimes called human milk). Moms of preemies can sometimes encounter difficulties when attempting to breastfeed or while pumping, and often it’s support from other parents and experts that makes all the difference.