The NICU Family Support program
Babies in the NICU may have been born too small, too soon, or with a medical condition that requires intensive care. Throughout the NICU experience, parents can be involved in their baby’s care in a variety of important ways. The March of Dimes has developed the NICU Family Support program to help support NICU families during their baby’s time in the NICU. The program also educates NICU staff about the best ways to support babies, families, and each other.
Hospitals with a NICU Family Support program are able to offer their families special materials including keepsake booklets for their NICU baby, a guide for parenting in the NICU, and a NICU guide. There are also materials about babies in the NICU less than 14 days, a common experience that can also be very frightening and stressful. As part of the program, hospitals also receive information for extended family members such as grandparents and siblings, and materials just for dads. In addition, families can access March of Dimes NICU resources online from any device with an internet connection.
NICU Family Support also provides ongoing education for hospital staff. This education focuses on best practices in supporting families, and the benefits of appropriate family-centered care for NICU babies at every stage of development. Education for staff is based on best practices and evidence based care, to help support staff in their important role.
The program is currently implemented in over 120 NICUs across the country. For more information about NICU Family Support please visit nicunetwork.org.
- March of Dimes Share Your Story, the place where NICU families connect with each other, share their stories, and participate in online communities
- March of Dimes Spanish-language website, culturally relevant information for Spanish-speaking NICU families
Last reviewed: August, 2014