Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Child Life On Call: Parents of children with an illness or medical condition share their stories with a child life specialist

Dec 6, 2023

In this episode of Child Life On Call, we are honored to host Jennifer Canvasser, the driving force behind the NEC Society, as she shares her poignant journey and advocacy for Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) awareness in the NICU. Join us as Jennifer unveils her personal story and how she transformed her loss into a powerful force for supporting families grappling with NEC. Gain valuable insights into the pivotal role of human milk and early intervention in mitigating the risk of NEC, and the vital need for open communication between healthcare providers and families in the NICU. Jennifer also sheds light on the indispensable contribution of Child Life specialists and palliative care teams, along with the plethora of resources available on the NEC Society's website. Additionally, Jennifer delves into her touching book, "Forever Our Little One," a heartfelt guide for parents navigating the complexities of grief. Tune in to this impactful episode and be inspired by Jennifer's unwavering commitment to enhancing NEC awareness and providing unwavering support for families in the NICU.

In this episode, you will be able to:

  • Discover how NEC Society supports and raises awareness for families.

  • Learn the importance of human milk in reducing NEC risk.

  • Explore the significance of early intervention and communication in the NICU.

  • Understand the vital role of Child Life specialists in the NICU.

  • Find valuable resources for families dealing with NEC in the NICU.

More about Jennifer

Jennifer Canvasser is the Executive Director and founder of the NEC Society. With firsthand experience as a mother who lost her son to Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC), Jennifer's expertise and advocacy work in the field of NEC is invaluable. Her dedication to raising awareness and driving change is evident through her establishment of the NEC Society, which brings together researchers, scientists, and families affected by NEC. Jennifer's personal journey in the NICU has propelled her to create a platform that fosters collaboration and provides support for families facing the challenges of NEC. Her work aims to empower parents and improve outcomes for premature babies at risk of NEC. We are privileged to have Jennifer as a guest on this episode, as she shares her knowledge and personal insights to shed light on the importance of NEC advocacy.


Connect with Jennifer 


X (twitter)


The key moments in this episode are:
00:00:00 - Introduction

00:04:05 - Jennifer's NICU Experience

00:06:55 - Loss of Micah

00:08:58 - Memories of Micah

00:12:25 - Coping in the NICU

00:15:38 - The Urgency of the NICU Society's Work

00:16:15 - The Importance of Human Milk in NEC Prevention

00:17:41 - Starting Conversations with At-Risk Families

00:18:56 - The Power of Information and Early Intervention



Whether you are a parent or professional, we want you to join our community. Sign up for our newsletter here.

Parents, download our free parent starter kit.

When you download our starter kit, you’ll learn how to:

  • Give medicine to your child without it becoming a wrestling match
  • Prepare your child (and yourself) for a shot so they can feel less anxious
  • Create and use a coping plan for any medical appointment or procedure

The first sign of sniffles, or worse, shouldn’t send you into a tailspin. Feel confident in your role as a parent and advocate, no matter what medical situation you’re facing.

Child life specialists, get affordable PDUs on-demand here.

Shop for your CLOC gear here.