Insights on motherhood and being a NICU nurse with Maddie Obray

What’s your best advice for new moms?

My best advice for new moms is to not get down on yourself. It’s so easy to feel like you’re not doing enough, or you’re not skinny enough, or you aren’t being as good of a mom as someone else is. But you’re doing amazing! Raising kids can be freaking hard but it’s also so rewarding. Don’t stress about the dishes, laundry, and other household chores. Just cuddle your babies and soak up the time with them because every stage goes by way too fast! 

Biggest challenge of transitioning from one child to two?

Making the transition from 1-2 kids has not been easy for me! Especially because my husband went back to work this week and I’m always feeling like I need to be in two places at once. I’m trying to give my toddler the attention she needs while also caring for a new baby, which has been a struggle at times. I’m sleep deprived and exhausted mentally, physically, and emotionally, but I know this stage will pass and I love my kids so much so I will do anything for them! 

What was your favorite part about being a NICU nurse?

It’s really hard to pick just one thing I love about being a NICU nurse! I obviously love the tiny babies, I love meeting and getting to know the families, I love watching the super sick babies progress over time and be able to go home to their families, and I definitely loved my relationships with my coworkers. Nursing is such an amazing career and I can’t imagine doing anything else! 

One thing you wish parents with babies in the NICU knew?

I think parents have a hard time when their baby is in the NICU and so they have a very negative outlook on the whole experience. I know that it’s extremely hard to see your baby in the NICU, but just remember how educated and amazing the nurses are who are taking care of your baby. Also remember to take time to care for yourself and don’t feel like you have to stay there 24/7 (especially if you have other children at home). Lastly, I would say ask questions. Learn as much as you can from the doctors and nurses before you take your little one home. 

Postpartum essentials?

My postpartum essentials are: plenty of comfy outfits that are nursing friendly, a good nipple cream if you’re breastfeeding, Dermoplast spray and ice packs if you tear, tucks pads are also great while you’re recovering, a nursing pillow, a good car seat/stroller, diapers, wipes, pacifiers, nursing bras, breast pump, and yummy lactation cookies (not for everyone, but they have helped my milk supply a lot). 

What do you want moms to know before going into labor?

Don’t overthink or stress too much about labor — definitely easier said than done. It’s fine to have a plan going in, but also be ok if everything doesn’t go according to the plan (because it most likely won’t). Try to soak up every detail and take pictures so you can remember. Also just be patient with yourself right after the delivery and don’t be afraid to ask the nurses for help. That’s what they are there for. And don’t forget to eat allll the hospital ice because it’s the best!