Most mothers whose babies have been discharged from the NICU struggle to reconcile with what should have been one of the happiest moments of their lives i.e. the joy of a new baby with that of trauma, resuscitation, life support equipment, strings ad gadgets attached to their baby and many other terrifying experiences.

These mothers need a great support to be able to take care of their babies at home independently. This process of discharge should be started early in order to address all fears and misconceptions that she might have before going home. All questions and fears must be addressed professionally, and parents should not be made to feel that they are asking any stupid question and that will make them to be free to ask any question.

For parents of babies born too soon the slightest cough or cold can cause untold worry as they are associated with repeated hospital admission and breathing difficulties.

For some mother’s life after NICU is not really life after NICU but a lifelong membership to the Preemie club and a former mum through and through. This therefore give a great support to other Preemie mums and it gives them a glimmer of hope to other parents that there is joy after the NICU life. These memberships to preemie clubs makes the journey much easier no matter how the situation might be as parents gets to identify their current problems with other parents and can ask questions regarding their own personal experiences.

Parents of babies discharged from NICU needs a great support from family, health professionals and preemie clubs as well as their paediatrician. All their concerns must be taken seriously in order to assist these mums to cope with looking after their own babies independently and with confidence.

Joyce Zwane

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