Navigating the NICU: A Guide to Seeking Employer Support

By on March 12, 2024

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Hey there, incredible NICU parents! We know just how challenging and emotionally intense the NICU journey can be. That’s why we’re here with some tips on how to reach out to your employer for the support you deserve during this critical time.

Employer Support for NICU Families

  1. Flexible Leave Policies: Your journey is unique, and so are your needs. Don’t hesitate to chat with your boss and HR team about flexible and extended leave options. This way, you can focus on your little one without added work stress.
  2. FMLA and Parental Leave: Find out if your company complies with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for up to 12 weeks of protected leave. Also ask if there’s additional parental leave available to give you even more time to be with your precious one.
  3. Remote Work and Flexible Hours: Work-life balance is essential, especially now. Discuss remote work possibilities or flexible hours with your employer to make it easier for you to be there for your NICU baby and all medical appointments.
  4. Extended Healthcare Benefits: Your little fighter deserves the best care. Check with your Benefits Manager to understand your health insurance coverage, making sure it includes the necessary support for NICU care, appointments, and follow-up care.
  5. Resource Information: Your HR department can be a treasure trove of helpful information. Don’t hesitate to ask about resources, support groups, and organizations that specialize in assisting families like yours during this time. This can also include mental health resources.
  6. Temporary Workload Adjustment: If feasible, talk to your supervisor or team about lightening your workload temporarily. This can help reduce stress and allow you to dedicate more time and energy to your family.

Milk Stork for NICU Families

Milk Stork has your back too, NICU parents. Proper nutrition is critical to infant health and development, especially NICU babies. To help with the unique challenges of breastfeeding and pumping for your little one, Milk Stork has several options to support you:

  • The Cool Commuter: A durable, reliable cooler that can transport your pumped breast milk safely to and from the NICU.
  • Pump & Ship: If you’re receiving refrigerated donor milk or need to ship your pumped milk home from an out-of-state hospital, we’ve got you covered.
  • Freeze & Ship: If you’re receiving frozen donor milk or shipping your frozen breast milk home. To maximize freezer space, we recommend Freeze It Flat by Mammaway.

Remember, NICU parenting is a journey, and on that you don’t have to do alone. Get the support you need, whether it’s from your friends, family, co-workers, or community. Your workplace can be an ally, and Milk Stork is here to make things a bit easier.


Q: How do employers typically respond to requests for NICU support, and what challenges might parents face in these discussions?
A: Employer responses to requests for NICU support can vary widely, depending on company policies, the culture of the workplace, and the specific circumstances of the request. Effective communication and providing detailed information about the NICU situation can help in navigating these discussions.

Q: Are there specific examples of employers who have set precedents in offering exceptional NICU support to their employees?
A: Our friends at Bobbie have a great parental leave policy that includes NICU leave.

Q: What legal protections exist for parents needing to take leave for NICU situations beyond the FMLA?
A: Beyond the FMLA, parents in need of NICU leave may find additional protections through state-specific family leave laws, which can offer more extended periods of leave, sometimes with pay. Certain states have also enacted laws providing greater flexibility and support for families in these circumstances.

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