This Mom Used Her Talents to Remind Parents of NICU Babies That They're Not Alone

The grueling waiting, impatiently checking in with doctors and nurses and your little baby, praying and hoping something good will happen: that is the cycle a NICU baby’s parents face. When your child is in the Neonatal intensive care unit, a lot of emotions run through you, and sometimes it’s difficult to remember to take care of yourself and your emotions. That’s where this Indiana hairdresser comes in.

This Indiana mom of a former NICU baby named Sarah Pulley has opened a hospital hair salon with one primary purpose: to pamper parents of high-risk newborns in the NICU at no charge. She recounted to Today Parents how her daughter Amelia was born premature and spent four months in the neonatal intensive care unit. “When Amelia contracted a virus, she was transferred to Riley Children’s Health. We’re very familiar with those walls.”

In 2021, she became a volunteer at the hospital’s Ronald McDonald House Family Room, to help families of sick children. This volunteering grew into something even more, with Pulley helping out the Riley Children’s Health wanted to open a hair salon there. At first, she donated a chair from her salon, Three Seventeen Hair Design, got $150 worth of free hair care products from her distributor, and then she offered her hair styling skills to parents. Now, Pulley goes above and beyond with every single client, offering different pampering and style options for parents at no charge.

“We shampoo, blow dry and give scalp massages on the second Wednesday of each month,” she explained. “You completely lose all sense of yourself when you have a baby in the NICU. My first mom completely relaxed in the chair; she just closed her eyes and breathed. My second was completely exhausted.”

It shows that there’s no guidebook to how you feel when this happens, but it’s so comforting and heartwarming to hear that people like Pulley are helping parents of NICU babies. Along with physically pampering, she offers emotional support, saying she wants parents to know they’re not alone.

“There is hope in my story because my daughter is thriving,” said Pulley. “We made it.”

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