The NICU days are behind you and you are ready to get back to work. It can be a daunting task to find childcare for your preemie who may be susceptible to illness. With daycare comes the exposure to germs. What options are available to you to help calm your heart and ease yourself into your work routine?
Pediatrician: Talk to your pediatrician about daycare options. Your pediatrician will have helpful advice for you and be able to discern whether your preemie should be in a home setting with minimal children/caregivers or if he/she is ready for a daycare facility. Your pediatrician may also provide special immunizations as a precaution.
Daycare Provider: If you choose a daycare provider, make sure to stress your concerns regarding your preemie’s delicate health and come up with a plan of action during flu and RSV season.
Caregivers: Look for programs that provide caregivers who understand children with developmental delays. Many preemies leave the NICU and have very specific needs. Research programs to help meet your preemie’s needs. A good source of information is your local regional center. https://www.regionalcenter.org/home
Talk to Other Parents: Reach out to other parents who are in similar situations. Many preemie parents have returned to work successfully – pick their brain and get an idea of what works for them and what doesn’t. preemie.inspire.com
At home care: Ultimately, if you feel your preemie needs to continue isolation, other options are nanny services, asking a trusted family member or even asking your employer about options to work temporarily from home. Whatever you decide, remember that communication is the key to making sure others understand that you have a preemie with a compromised immune system and it takes observation and dedication to keep your preemie as healthy as possible.