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As today’s guest will tell you, “You become a NICU parent in the blink of an eye.”

Katie Ross is the creator of Blooming Littles and she’s doing incredible work in the NICU space as a certified neonatal occupational therapist. As a mom of a full-term NICU baby herself, she’s made it her mission to inform and empower parents by teaching them about the little things they can do that make a difference in their baby’s development and truly transform their NICU experience.

By combining her doctorate with additional certifications, including neonatal massage and lactation support, her clinical experience at large children’s hospitals has given her a unique understanding of the challenges and needs of NICU babies.

This episode is perfect for anyone who is currently in the NICU, has experienced the NICU, or knows someone else who’s on their own journey. Katie shares her best tips on participation (skin-to-skin, hand hugs, etc), managing trauma & pain responses, and setting healthy boundaries.

Key Takeaways with Katie Ross

  • Understanding the importance of occupational therapists 
  • Empowering parents in the NICU 
  • The power of touch: skin-to-skin, hand hugs, and more
  • Creating positive moments within the NICU experience 
  • The coping and trauma responses of families
  • How to feel confident after discharge and bringing your baby home
  • Bedside questions that parents should ask providers 
  • Giving yourself grace in a difficult season of life 
  • Learning to protect your (and your family’s) peace 
  • Ways to support parents through acts of service

Katie Ross Tweetables

  • “So much of what occupational therapists get to think about is being proactive and preventing: empowering parents to know how important simple things are that they can do that make a difference in the development.” – Katie Ross
  • “You become a NICU parent in the blink of an eye.” – Katie Ross
  • “The trauma of being in a situation you’ve never been in, in an environment you don’t know what to do in, healing physically… these are all things I had a lot more compassion for after I became a mom.”  – Katie Ross
  • “We validate the unimaginable circumstances that you’re walking through. You need to give yourself as much grace as possible in this season of life.” – Katie Ross
  • “When we create healthy boundaries, sometimes it makes other people mad. They’ll throw their version of a tantrum. Just let them have it, it’s okay.”  – Jamie Freedlund
  • “You cannot be responsible for someone else’s response.” – Katie Ross


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