We’re thrilled to have recently added Hike It Baby as a NICU Families Northwest Community Partner. Founded by Portland Mom Shanti Hodges, Hike It Baby (“HIB”) is an organization dedicated to getting families with birth to school-age kids out into nature together.
Accessibility and comfort are huge values of the HIB community and they seek to remove as many barriers preventing families from getting outside and into nature as possible. To that end, HIB recruited our Founder, Anna David, to write a guest blog post featuring tips for NICU Families. Take a peek at the excerpt below and visit the HIB Blog for the full post highlighting six great tips for preparing for any outdoor adventures after discharge.
For a long time after she was born, it felt hazardous to take Miranda places. Her small size and diminutive features often drew kind but imposing inquiries from strangers, and even the best-intentioned of people had a hard time being told to keep their hands away from a baby. The common cold can pose serious risks to babies born prematurely, and many have immature or compromised immune systems for as long as a year or more after birth. As NICU parents we were trained by staff to wash our hands often and thoroughly, and after discharge germs were priority number one. Miranda also needed a vaccine to protect her against Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), which can quickly debilitate former preemies if not treated properly and promptly.
It was suggested we protect our daughter from risk of illness by drastically limiting our time outdoors and in busy public places during the first month of her being home, and then again in the following winter. Having spent the first three months of her life in the hospital, my husband and I were eager to share Miranda with the world. We wanted to share our world with Miranda and achieve some normalcy after the chaos of her birth. Feeling trapped at home inside the lush green paradise of Oregon was unsustainable.
For more of Anna’s experience embracing the outdoors with her former Micropreemie and her tips for preparing for those first few adventures, visit the Hike It Baby blog for the full post.