We want to wish a very Happy Mother’s Day to all of the amazing moms we’ve had the privilege to meet over the years. Your courage is an inspiration. Mothers with newborns in the NICU, mothers of NICU graduates, mothers who have lost children - you all deserve an extra measure of appreciation and respect this Mother’s Day, and every day, for stepping up to so many unexpected challenges. When you spend long days with your baby in the NICU, when you dedicate countless hours to helping your baby learn to eat and sit and walk, when you grieve: you show the world what true love is.

We also want to recognize all of the mothers who have used their experience to support other families. Whether you’ve had a preemie and then helped a friend in the same situation, or started a preemie parent support organization: thank you! We love following the work of these moms who share their knowledge and perspective to support other families:

Natalie Estelle and Joi Turner of Preemie Moms Rock. These preemie moms started Preemie Moms Rock last year to offer healthy meals, emotional support, and opportunities to relax to NICU moms in Baltimore. Local organizations like this are so important to the life of a community, and what Natalie and Joi are doing is a beautiful thing. And the portraits of preemie moms on their Instagram page are awesome!

Martha Sharkey of Today Is A Good Day. Martha and her husband Paul have used their experience of premature birth and infant loss to comfort and encourage other families through listening sessions, financial grants, and care packages. Today Is A Good Day is involved with Abington Memorial Hospital in the Philadelphia area and is another wonderful example of how a family’s contribution to their community can make a big difference.

Jennifer Hall and all of the other mothers involved in Graham’s Foundation. From delivering care packages, to guiding parents to informational resources, to connecting families through their Preemie Parent Mentors program, Graham’s Foundation does so much to make the NICU experience a little more manageable for families across the country.

Kelli Kelley and all of the moms at Hand to Hold. Hand to Hold’s Preemie Babies 101 blog, NICU Now podcast, and parents' forums are all excellent resources for parents with questions on topics ranging from how to cope with feeling of guilt after giving birth prematurely to potty training a child with special needs. The women of Hand to Hold provide a wellspring of knowledge and experience and we thank them for it!

Know another mom who is making a difference in the lives of preemies and their families? We’d love to hear about her! And for all you mothers loving your babies through the tough times: stay strong! You have our admiration, respect, and best wishes this Mother’s Day.

With love,

All of us at Jacqui’s Preemie PrideSaveSave