In the past few months, I have been working in tandem with numerous other professionals with a variety of backgrounds to contribute to online course material developed for professionals working in the NICU. This is a collaborative project between the National Perinatal Association, Patient+Family Care, & the Preemie Parent Alliance is called My NICU Network. I am honored and privileged to have been included in developing part of the curriculum that will be provided to NICU professionals to help them further understand and work with these unique families.
Providing perspective as an expert in the unit on Pallative / Bereavement Care on how to interact with bereaved parents or parents whose babies are expected not to make it has been very fulfilling. Not gonna lie, it was difficult to have to put myself back in that NICU room, back into the worst day of my life on an emotional level. I don’t often like to revisit it, but parents who have been through this can offer exceptional expertise on what can both aid and hinder relationships with professionals in the NICU. What are things that one may find helpful and consoling, what things should not be said and insight as to why seemingly innocuous or “supportive” words may not come across that way to someone in the crisis of torment, confusion, & grief. All together this is an awesome learning tool for those who don’t interact with these parents all the time and aren’t accustomed to or necessarily comfortable with the ins and outs of NICUs and all that go along with that experience for parents. It can be a challenging time for both care providers and families, so I’m thrilled to provide any insight that help to provide and guidance that makes navigating the process, along with the other wealth of information that is available through this course. Please share it with those who may find it beneficial in your networks.