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Taking Care of Yourself Away From NICU

Author: Team NICU 101
Published Date: Monday, February 12, 2018

Having a child in the NICU is stressful, overwhelming, and emotionally exhausting. Being present with your baby, attending rounds, and being actively involved in your child's care are important aspects of caring for your baby while he or she is in the NICU.

In order to do these things, however, you must also take care of yourself. If you feel like you are running on empty it is difficult to do the things your child needs most – spending quality time together, advocating on their behalf, and taking part in medical decisions.

The following is a list of quick and easy self-care activities compiled by parents of former NICU patients.   

Practicing Self-Care

  • Go for a walk 
  • Take a long shower 
  • Attend a NICU class or support group 
  • Talk to your NICU social worker
  • Sing in the car 
  • Read a good book 
  • Watch a funny TV show 
  • Call a friend 
  • Get a cup of coffee 
  • Ask someone for help with your to-do list 
  • Stretch or do yoga 
  • Go outside for a few minutes 
  • Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths 
  • Write (blog, journal, etc.) 
  • Connect with another NICU parent 
  • Take a nap 
  • Do a hobby you enjoy 
  • Eat a healthy snack 
  • Exercise
  • Meditate or pray 
  • Get plenty of sleep 
  • Spend time with your partner 
  • Tell friends and family how they can help 
  • Spend time with pets 
  • Turn on a favorite song and dance 
  • Listen to a podcast or audiobook    

About Team NICU 101

CHKD is home to the region’s largest and most sophisticated neonatal intensive care unit, certified by the state as a subspecialty nursery. We provide intensive care for high-risk, critically-ill neonates and care for approximately 500 babies a year.