Life after the NICU

After your experience in the NICU, you have become a NICU graduate parent. Your child is a NICU graduate. Congratulations!

You will look back on the time you spent with your child in the NICU and see how the experience has changed your life. You may find you have strengths and passions you didn't know you had.

You may feel that your experience has changed you forever and that you want to help others who will walk this road after you. Consider the following:

  • Stay connected with the other families you have met and become friends with in the NICU. Exchange contact information. You and these families may have things in common even after your babies leave the NICU.
  • Keep in touch with your baby's NICU. Send updated photos to the staff. Visit the NICU. Speak to a parent group. Attend NICU family reunions.
  • Find support groups that help you parent your child.
  • Get involved with the March of Dimes. Our mission is to help babies like yours and to support parents like you. Learn about the NICU Family Support project and our Prematurity Campaign. To get involved, find your local March of Dimes chapter. Share your baby's birth story and get support from other NICU families on Share Your Story. Your experience, your story, your passion and love for your child are so vitally important to other families and to babies born too small, too sick or too soon.

Parents have to decide how they will incorporate the NICU experience into their lives and the lives of their children. As time passes, most parents find themselves involved in other aspects of their child's life. Their memories of the NICU fade as they watch their child grow and face new tasks and challenges, such as walking, potty training, preschool and more.

Remember: You and your child are strong. Be proud of all that you have come through together. Look forward to and cherish the celebrations ahead.

Last reviewed: August, 2014