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Surviving the NICU: What to Expect and How to Cope





September is celebrated as NICU Awareness month in order to honor the NICU families as well as healthcare heroes who stand by them. Here are some of things that you should know about the NICU. 

In This Article

    What is NICU?

    NICU stands for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit - a department in a hospital to take care of ill newborns or premature babies.

    What to expect in the NICU?

    It is run by trained healthcare professionals and equipped with the best technology like incubators, phototherapy, feeding tubes etc. to help your baby recover.

    They maintain strict rules in terms of hygiene, visiting hours & feeding time so that the newborns in the NICU can be protected from maximum infections.

    What are the chances of twins needing NICU support?

    According to research, nearly 60% of the twins are premature (born before 37 weeks) and end up in the NICU due to problems like lower birth weight or underdeveloped lungs which causes breathing problems. The time spent in the NICU typically depends on the week of delivery - the earlier the birth, the longer the NICU stay

    My NICU journey and what worked for us

    I vividly remember almost every detail of our time in the NICU.

    My twins, Dia and Divit were born premature in the 33rd week of my pregnancy and because of various factors, they ended up in the NICU for 10 days. Thereafter, in the second month, DD were admitted again in the NICU because of acute Pneumonia. The infection was so severe that Dia was critical and the doctors were struggling to keep her alive. We were devastated. But eventually, things worked in our favor and my babies were home after a month!

    Suggestions to deal with the NICU phase

    It is a constant war going on in the mind and we find it difficult to eat, sleep or even think of anything positive. But there are a few things to keep in mind to survive this tough phase (probably the toughest time of your lives!) 

    ❤️ As a family, never blame each other for what happened.

    ❤️ Always be positive. I know it is not easy, but negative thoughts will only break you more.

    ❤️ Trust your doctors, yourself and specially your little ones!

    ❤️ Have faith in the universe.

    ❤️ Vent all your emotions. Talk to your partner, friends, family and tell them how you are feeling. This eases the pain a lot.

    Last but not least, whenever you visit your babies, go with a happy face and a happy mind. Babies can sense stress, so, avoid that. Talk to them (trust me, they are listening!) and pass on positive and good energies. Hug them, kiss them. Tell them that you are here for them. Tell them how much they are loved and that everyone is waiting for them to come home.

    Also take care of yourself and prepare for the post NICU time. Eat and sleep well. Talk to a lactation counsellor if you are having breastfeeding issues. Arrange your house. Do a deep cleaning of your room where the babies will be sleeping. Discuss with your family how you will have to take extra care of the little ones. Join social media groups like breastfeeding support, raising twins and multiples, NICU moms etc - not only will they guide you through your motherhood journey but you will also realize that you are not alone in this. They will be those 1 AM friends who will lighten up your stress and brighten up your face amidst all the chaos😊


    I would conclude just by saying that the more you share, the better you feel and the more you learn. And always make your babies your strength, not your weakness. If they can fight so hard to come back to you, you will have to make sure you give them back double the love and care. Because they deserve it, YOU deserve it❤️❤️



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