Brandon and Jessica discuss having their daughter in the NICU and learning about the different nutritional options available. They advocated for a human milk fortifier for their daughter, using their network and own research.
Deb Discenza speaks about her NICU experience with her daughter and finding out her daughter was receiving a bovine-based fortifier in the NICU. She discusses how her NICU experience led her to start Preemie Magazine and Preemie World.
Kelli speaks with the CEO of Prolacta Bioscience, Scott Elster, about the process used by Prolacta and who the company serves. Scott speaks about the nutritional needs of NICU babies and explains where Prolacta obtains the milk it uses and how women can donate their milk.
Dr. Mitch Goldstein explains what NEC is, who it typically affects, its symptoms, and treatment. He also discusses what parents should ask about their baby's nutrition in the NICU. Kelli then speaks to Stephanie Vaughan whose son contracted NEC while in the NICU. Stephanie speaks about his journey back to health and how she eventually started The Morgan Leary Vaughan Fund to educate other parents about NEC.
Kelli and Jennifer discuss Jennifer’s high-risk fourth pregnancy with her daughter, Joy. Jennifer speaks about her experience on bed rest at home and at the hospital and how that led her to writing both of her books. She talks about the depression that can accompany bed rest and the challenges that arise when on bed rest with other kids at home.
Kelli and Crystal discuss Crystal’s experience of giving birth to twins after being on bed rest. Crystal talks about how journaling and working with a musical therapist was helpful during her bed rest journey.
Kelli and Darline discuss Darline’s experience with bedrest during her first pregnancy and how that led her to founding Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond. Darline talks about common challenges women face on bed rest, helpful nutritional tips, and how doctors and nurses can better support women on bed rest.
While on strict bedrest in 2010, Melissa Hinnant needed something to do to keep her mind and her hands occupied. She decided to crochet her daughter a blanket. Tragically Melissa lost the baby, but she continued to crochet. More than six years later, Melissa is now the mother of three children and is the founder of the multimillion-dollar women’s apparel company, Grace and Lace.
Joining us is licensed family therapist Kara Whalin. Kara is uniquely qualified to address this issue because she knows the sorrow of the loss of a baby, the toll of a lengthy NICU stay and the joy of helping others who now walk in her shoes.
In this episode, licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Kara Wahlin, mother of twin boys born at 26 weeks gestation, joins Hand to Hold for an intimate discussion about our worst fears, the loss of a child and how we find a way to cope and eventually heal.
Leaving the hospital after a NICU stay can feel like jumping off a cliff without a parachute. Parents no longer have the stability of doctors and nurses to rely on to meet our baby’s medical needs and answer questions about developmental milestones.
Joining us for a honest discussion about the emotional and physical challenges of caring for a medically fragile child at home is Kara Whalin. As a licensed therapist, as well as a parent who has experienced preterm birth and loss, Kara understands the challenges of a NICU stay on a personal and professional level.
JJ Heller is a singer/songwriter from Nashville, TN. She writes songs for just about every season of life. Over the course of her nearly 14-year career, she has had two songs chart at number 13 on the billboard charts, Your Hands from her 2008 album Painted Red and What Love Really Means from her album When I'm with You. Her husband Dave co-writes, plays guitar, shoots and edits her videos, and manages her career. Together they are raising two beautiful little girls who often appear on her Instagram and Facebook feeds.
In 2014, JJ recorded I Dream of You, an album of lullabies and songs about motherhood. In 2016, JJ committed to donate one copy of the album for every album purchased. To date, JJ has donated almost 10,000 CDs and over 17,000 digital copies of I Dream of You to charity – including to Hand to Hold for NICU families.
Parenting in the NICU can be quite overwhelming. One of the first tasks parents face is to understand the role of the many different medical professionals treating our baby. To help us better understand the role of neonatal therapists in the NICU is Sue Ludwig. Sue is a licensed occupational therapist who has been practicing in the NICU at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for over 20 years. She is passionate about improving quality of life for NICU babies.
During pregnancy, mothers have intimate, physical bonds with their baby. They are typically a little more excited about the purchase of maternity clothes, finding the softest baby blankets, and picking the best diaper bag. And they usually have sharper images and stronger expectations of the dream of a perfect birth. But fathers have dreams too, and their shattered expectations and inability to keep their wife and child safe during a traumatic birth may be very overwhelming.
They may witness their child struggling for life at birth. They may find themselves faced with making critical medical decisions for their child while their wife is still in recovery. They often struggle to support their wives emotionally and find themselves exhausted as they try to balance life in the NICU, work and often other children at home.
In this episode, host Kelli Kelley discusses the benefits and experience of reading to your baby in the NICU with Tom French, NICU dad and c-author of Juniper, The Girl Who Was Born Too Soon.
Across the country, NICUs are now encouraging parents to read to their babies as it serves as an important first step in bonding -- especially when parents are unable to hold their baby in the first days and weeks of life. In this episode, we discuss the research behind reading to our medically fragile children and its tremendous benefits not only for the baby, but the parent.
While it is easy to focus all of our attention on our fragile baby, we will be unable to care for them if we do not first take care of ourselves. Guests include Renee Trudeau, author of The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal and Kelli Foulkrod, psychotherapist and yoga teacher in Austin, TX, specializing in pregnancy and postpartum mood disorders.
In this episode, we talk with licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and NICU parent, Kara Whalin, about risk factors and warning signs of postpartum depression, anxiety and PTSD during and after a NICU stay.
Joining us to talk about finding your footing as parents in the Zero Zone is Kelley Benham French. Kelley is a professor of practice in journalism at Indiana University. A former reporter and editor for the Tampa Bay Times, she was a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for “Never Let Go,” a series about her Daughter Juniper’s early birth at 23 weeks and six days. She is the co-author along with her husband of the book, Juniper, The Girl Who Was Born Too Soon, that chronicles their challenges with infertility, and the fear, sadness, exhaustion and joy of their daughter’s 196 day NICU journey.
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This episode is sponsored by Huggies.
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This episode is sponsored by Prolacta Bioscience.
In This Episode:
This episode is sponsored by Prolacta Bioscience.