Sometimes what weighs most heavily on parents of preemies is money. Specialist care in and out of the NICU can be expensive, and for those without insurance, difficult to handle. If you have insurance, make sure you understand what treatments will be covered. Parents without insurance or with limited insurance can apply for Medicaid or Social Security insurance programs. There are also services such as RxAssist that help preemie parents find patient assistance programs for medications not covered by insurance.
When parents of preemies have other children, professional responsibilities, or other duties, they may feel pulled in multiple directions. The stress of prematurity can also have an impact on relationships. Remember, the people in the NICU are taking the best possible care of your preemie when you can’t be there. Ask for help and let others shoulder some of your responsibilities for a while.
Eventually the NICU can start to feel like a home away from home. Until then, try to adapt to your family’s new situation by staying grounded in the moment. Sometimes that may mean focusing exclusively on what is happening in the NICU – holding, feeding, and changing your baby. Other times, staying grounded may mean taking a few hours to address your own needs. You and your family will develop your own routines as time passes. Adjust to the realities of premature birth as slowly as you need to.