Ashley Ham and Martha Mink are Co-Founders of Dear NICU Mama. Ashley serves as the Creative Director and Martha is the Business Operations Coordinator. After college, Ashley started her own photography business, FloraPine Photography. She later invited her friend, Martha, to co-found Dear NICU Mama! They’ve found entrepreneurship to be the path for them as Ashely expands, “I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to dream big and pursue my creative passions over the last seven years.” 


Dear NICU Mama began when Ashely and Martha hosted a celebration photoshoot for NICU mothers and their babies, “Oftentimes NICU moms don’t have the chance to have a maternity photo session done because their babies were born early. Eight NICU mamas with a variety of NICU journeys came together and we celebrated their motherhood journeys and their miracles through this shoot.” Ultimately, this experience built the foundation of their organization. Their journey with Dear NICU Mama lead Martha and Ashley to experience a rollercoaster of emotions with experiencing overgrowth and burnout but explain, ”whenever a mother reaches out to say ‘thank you’ or ‘this saved my life’, it gives our work such meaning.” Today they work to serve past and present NICU mothers through their online services such as their social media platforms and podcast, as well as celebration photoshoots, hospital support kits, events, and workshops.



Dear NICU Mama works to fulfill their mission, “To bring any NICU mama out of isolation and into a sisterhood of women that can stand alongside them as they heal both in and out of the NICU.” They’ve found the media’s portrayal of NICU Motherhood is not aligned with the reality many mothers find themselves in, “We long to step in and remind them that they are not alone. Healing is lifelong – but it does not need to be done alone!” They believe peer-support is a vital part of trauma-healing, along with professional medical and mental healthcare. They look forward to continuing celebrating and honoring NICU mothers down the road.


You can help raise awareness of Dear NICU Mama by sharing their social media content or podcast – or of course by giving! And if a NICU mama comes into your life, make sure to reach out and connect them to their resources.


Read more news and articles about entrepreneurship at www.emergingprairie.com.

Jessica Anderson

Jessica is the Event Marketing Intern at Emerging Prairie, focusing on celebrating programs like 1 Million Cups Fargo, TEDxFargo, Possibility Summit, and more.