Going Home Without Baby

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Parents instinctively want to nurture and protect their baby and being separated while their baby is in NICU can be a painful experience. When a mother is discharged from the hospital without her baby, most describe it as one of the hardest and most emotional days of their entire NICU journey.

Many have envisioned leaving hospital with a healthy baby, full of excitement for the future. Most are completely unprepared for the onslaught of emotions that surface when leaving the hospital with empty arms.

Walking into your house can feel strange and the first night at home can bring lots of tears and sadness. An empty nursery with new clothes and toys is another solemn reminder that your journey has taken an unexpected path.

Tips for coping with separation from your baby:

  • Acknowledge your baby’s birth by sending out birth announcements or placing an announcement in the paper.
  • Take photographs and start an album or a baby book.
  • Journal through your thoughts and feelings to record your baby’s progress.
  • Ask your baby’s nurse if you can take something home with your baby’s scent on it.
  • Express breast milk; it can help you to feel close to your baby when you are away from them.
  • Call the hospital at any time of day or night to check on your baby’s progress.
  • Record yourself reading a book and leave it in the NICU for your baby to listen to when you are not there.
  • Visit the hospital as often as you can.

The most important thing is to do whatever feels right for you.

Need support? NurtureConnect allows you to connect with our NurtureProgram support team.

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Disclaimer: This publication by Miracle Babies Foundation is intended solely for general education and assistance and it is it is not medical advice or a healthcare recommendation. It should not be used for the purpose of medical diagnosis or treatment for any individual condition. This publication has been developed by our Parent Advisory Team (all who are parents of premature and sick babies) and has been reviewed and approved by a Clinical Advisory Team. This publication is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Miracle Babies Foundation recommends that professional medical advice and services be sought out from a qualified healthcare provider familiar with your personal circumstances.To the extent permitted by law, Miracle Babies Foundation excludes and disclaims any liability of any kind (directly or indirectly arising) to any reader of this publication who acts or does not act in reliance wholly or partly on the content of this general publication. If you would like to provide any feedback on the information please email [email protected].