NICU Family Support
NICU Family Support aims to alleviate the emotional stress so common to a family whose baby is born early or with another medical condition that necessitates a NICU hospitalization. Built upon a family-centered philosophy and including NICU families into every level of the project's development, NICU Family Support is implemented nationwide through March of Dimes state chapters.
Serving the mothers, fathers, siblings, grandparents and extended family of newborns in the NICU, NICU Family Support addresses the needs of families throughout the hospitalization, during transition home, and in the event of a newborn death. It also includes a professional development component that provides NICU staff with support and educational opportunities to help them in working with the families on a daily basis.
NICU Family Support has multiple components that make it unique:
• A part-time March of Dimes NICU Family Support Specialist with professional NICU experience working with families and staff
• A volunteer parent-professional action committee guiding program selection, development and implementation
• A base of March of Dimes volunteers providing parent to parent support to families within the NICU setting
• Sensitive and engaging educational materials that introduce parents to the staff, equipment, procedures, and conditions that they may encounter in the NICU
• Customized Programs developed to serve the needs of the specific NICUs and the populations they support. Some of the customized programs include: Antepartum support and preparation, Information and support for siblings and extended family, Support for Spanish-speaking families, Photo keepsake programs, Easing the transition from NICU to home and Bereavement support.
For more information about NICU Family Support or if you’d like to volunteer or make a donation, email or call (405) 943-1025.
Information and resources are available to families to know more about your baby’s condition and care while in the NICU. Share Your Story is an online community for families to share in discussions, start a blog or just make friends.
Print and audiovisual materials
To order, call the March of Dimes Fulfillment Center at (800) 367-6630.
BABY:A Keepsake Journal. This beautiful booklet provides a place for parents to write about their new baby, including milestones, days of celebration, difficult days, hopes and dreams.
English: Item #28-2263-08 $35/pkg. of 10
Spanish: Item #09-1735-02 $35/pkg. of 10
English: Item #28-2263-08 $7.95 each
Spanish: Item #09-1735-02S $7.95 each
When Baby Comes Early: A Parent's Guide to Prematurity. This video guides parents through the premature infant’s hospitalization, including common procedures, tests and medical concerns.
Eng. VHS: Item #09-1667-02 $35.00
Span. VHS: Item #091892-04 $35.00
Eng. DVD: Item #09-1916-04 $35.00
Span. DVD: Item #09-1917-04 $35.00
Preemies: The Essential Guide for Parents of Premature Babies. This fact-filled reference guides new parents through the many uncertainties of anticipating and caring for a premature baby. Published by Simon & Schuster, 2002.
Item #09-1833-03 $16.95
Nurse continuing education
In addition to the project components and materials described above for NICU families, the March of Dimes uses its existing Nursing Module Program to offer continuing education for NICU nursing staff on topics related to caring for the critically ill newborn.
The most relevant March of Dimes Nursing Modules are:
• The Premature Infant: Nursing Assessment and Management Breastfeeding the Infant with Special Needs
• Discharge and Follow-Up of the High-Risk Preterm Infant
• Easing the Transition from Hospital to Home: Postpartum Discharge Planning and Homecare Services
• Ethical Decision Making for Perinatal Nurses
• Genetic Issues for Perinatal Nurses
• High Risk Antepartal Home Care
• Loss and Grieving in Pregnancy and the First Year of Life: A Caring Resource for Nurses