An interview with Nicole Nyberg, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, and founder of Empowering NICU Parents Podcast

In the world of neonatal care, Nicole Nyberg is a dedicated Neonatal Nurse Practitioner(NNP) and a proud mother of a preemie, who has embarked on a mission to empower neonatal parents. In her podcasts, Nicole shares her work and knowledge as a neonatal nurse and as a preemie mother. Recently, the Preemie team had the pleasure to interview Nicole and to ask her about her motivation for starting the podcast and her views on the importance of targeted fortification of human milk for preterm infants.

Nicole is the proud mother of William, now 8 years old and a former 23-week preemie infant. Nicole had a complicated pregnancy, followed by an emergency delivery due to a placental abruption. As a Neonatal Nurse she had more knowledge and experience of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) than most NICU parents but being a NICU mother gave her a completely different outlook of the world she thought she knew so well. This profound realization fueled her desire to help other NICU parents by sharing knowledge and empowering them through education, and this is how her podcast was born.

In each episode of her podcast, Nicole provides clear information for NICU parents to learn, grow, and find support. Nicole’s deep empathy and a huge sense of understanding allow her to connect with her audience on a profound level. Her passion for helping others shines through her engaging discussions and thought-provoking topics.

Balancing a full-time career as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner and being a mother is no easy task. Nicole candidly admits that there are moments when she questions how she can keep juggling all the responsibilities in her life. However, it is during these moments of doubt that the impact of her work becomes apparent. Fellow NICU mothers, inspired by Nicole’s social media posts or podcast episodes, reach out to her and express their gratitude. These heartfelt messages serve as a reminder to Nicole that she is making a real difference in the lives of others.

In one of Nicole’s insightful podcast episodes, titled “The Composition of Human Breast Milk: How Does Preterm, Term, and Donor Milk Vary?”, she delves into the complex nutritional properties of mother’s own milk (MOM). She discusses the significant differences between MOM and donor human milk (DHM) and emphasizes the importance of fortification for the preterm infants. Additionally, she sheds light on the effects of pasteurization on the nutritional composition of DHM.

Scientific literature consistently highlights the benefits of Mothers’ Own Milk for newborn nutrition. However, while MOM provides many advantages, its nutritional content alone may not be sufficient to meet the high nutritional demands of premature infants. This is where targeted fortification plays a vital role. Fortification involves increasing the protein and fat, as well as calcium and phosphorus concentrations in human milk to be fed to the preterm infant, in order to support their optimal growth and development.

We are thrilled to continue our collaboration with Nicole Nyberg as she empowers and educates NICU parents through her podcast. We invite you to listen to Nicole’s podcast episode mentioned above, “The Composition of Human Breast Milk,” and gain a deeper understanding of the critical role targeted fortification plays in providing optimal nutrition for preterm infants.

Nicole’s mission to empower and educate NICU parents is worthy of our applause and support. We encourage you to engage with her podcast, follow her social media posts, and explore her website. By doing so, you contribute to building a stronger and more informed NICU community.


Cristina Borràs-Novell, , Ana Herranz Barbero, Montserrat Izquierdo Renau, Carla Balcells Esponera, Miriam López-Abad, Victoria Aldecoa Bilbao, and Isabel Iglesias Platas. Influence of maternal and perinatal factors on macronutrient content of very preterm human milk during the first weeks after birth. Journal of Perinatology (2023) 43:52 – 59

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