September 1 marks the state of Neonatal Intensive Care Awareness (NICA) Month. The idea behind the event is to honor both families undergoing an extensive NICU stay and the caretakers — doctors, nurses, hospital staff, and volunteers — who help them through it. But this isn’t an initiative designed just for those who fall into the aforementioned categories. Anyone can participate in NICU Awareness Month from organizing a parent night out to delivering gifts to NICU staffers. If you want to honor those affected by a NICU experience, sharing an
Instagram caption to bring awareness to NICU Awareness Month is a place to start.
Like so many medical professionals, those who work in the NICU are really unsung heroes, fighting everyday to give tiny precious lives a chance. They’re work often goes unnoticed beyond the family’s benefitting from it. Meanwhile, the parents of those little babies often have to shoulder the gut wrenching burden of watching their newborn fight for his or her life. The NICU is such a special place inside a hospital, a place full of hope and heartbreak where parents, babies, and hospital staff can all use some words of encouragement, and it’s high time we acknowledged it. Here are a few ways to do so.
“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, ‘I’m possible!’” -Audrey Hepburn
Seeing a baby in an incubator struggling for breath can feel hopeless. But where there's a will, there's a way and that reminder to stay optimistic is important for parents to hear during their time in the NICU.
“You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice.” —Bob Marley
Bob Marley really nails it with this quote about how adversity can show a person's strength. And no one knows this like a NICU parent who has to dig deep to get through a baby's challenging stay.
"Nurses are the hospitality of hospitals." —Unknown
Nurses are the backbone of the NICU and it's their care and concern that gets many families through their stay. This quote is a reminder to thank them for the incredible work they do.
“Always remember, you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.” —A. A. Milne
Not sure who needs to hear this more? The NICU babies or the parents of them. But it bears repeating during NICU Awareness Month that sometimes you can surprise yourself with your own strength.
"And though she be but Little, she is Fierce." —William Shakespeare
Those tiny toes are deceiving. Even the littlest premies can pull through and grow up to be strong, powerful people. This classic Shakespeare quote
A Midsummer Night's Dream says it all.
"Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it." —Anonymous
Parenting is frightening enough with a complicated health scare. So one can only imagine the fears NICU parents undergo. But like any challenge in life, surviving the terror can ultimately bring about the greatest reward.
"White coat hero." —Anonymous
Doctors and their years of study and clinical understanding can save a small, vulnerable baby's life. That's a modern day miracle and we should remember to thank them for it with posting something like this quote.
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." —Unknown
Even beyond the NICU doors, this quote is one to remember. So many people are fighting quiet battles we may know nothing about. Remember to be gentle and kind. You don't know what someone might be going through.
"He is the best physician who is the most ingenious inspirer of hope." —Samuel Taylor Coleridge
A touching word and an extra moment of care, those are the things NICU parents appreciate from their doctors and so many do just that, by taking the time to offer extra words of wisdom, inspiration, and hope.
"Save one life and you’re a hero, save one hundred lives and you’re a nurse." —Anonymous
Another great quote to salute the nurses in your lives, this one is presents such an amazing truth. Day in and day out, nurses are on the frontlines, making sure the weakest NICU patients get the care they need. What a gift.
"A doctor is responsible for the smile behind the pain." —Anonymous
A doctor has the power to not just change a patient's outcome, but their perspective as well. That first smile from a sick baby might just be in large part thanks to the doctors that made her well.
"Sometimes it’s okay if all you did today was breath." —Anonymous
Boy, isn't that the truth. Somedays, for NICU families, the biggest win is to see their infant breath on their own. That victory should be remembered and each breath we take never taken for granted.
"Miracles are often disguised as preemies." —Anonymous
Babies born early have to begin life fighting. But their battle can be a miraculous one, astounding to doctors and parents alike.
"'Dr.' is not just a prefix, it’s a super power." —Anonymous
To families who have witnessed the power of medicine at work on their tiny one, they know this is true. And this quote is one way to let the doctors in your life know how much they mean to you.