Today, March of Dimes, the nation’s leader in the fight for the health of all moms and babies, is unveiling a number of services and resources at no cost for expecting and new mothers, to provide the advice and support they need as the country strives to combat the spread of COVID-19. As society adjusts to new public health guidelines, pregnant women and new mothers are confronting a unique challenge: how do they best prepare for child birth, infant care, and optimize their own health and well-being as well as their child’s.
“The onset of COVID-19 and the effect it is having on families around the world is truly devastating,” said Stacey D. Stewart, President and CEO of March of Dimes. “We are concerned about pregnant women and babies who may be at risk of becoming sick during this pandemic and are here to support them with critical resources and free services to meet their current and future needs.”
From health education to raising funds to support COVID-19 vaccine and treatment research to critical support to NICU parents, March of Dimes offers a variety of programs to support moms and babies during the pandemic. The organization is also actively working to build partnerships with third party providers that are helping moms and babies. Specifically, these programs include:
- Virtual Support for NICU Parents with NICU Family Support®: March of Dimes is offering a virtual NICU Family Support (NFS) program with its hospital partners, to provide education and support to NICU parents through a digital platform in hospitals across the country. This ensures families can still receive the support and education they need, while maintaining hospital protocols for infection control. Additionally, we are maintaining our free educational resources for staff within our NFS partner hospitals, which includes a session on caregiver self-care.
- COVID-19 Updates for Moms and Families with the My NICU Baby® App: March of Dimes’ My NICU Baby® app provides information about COVID-19 relevant to families with a child in the NICU. This includes videos on infection control and parent self-care, as well as how to support siblings and options to connect with other NICU families. The app is available at no cost to all NICU families across the nation through the Apple Store and Google Play. More information can be found at: mynicubaby.org
- Learn the Latest News about the Impact of COVID-19 on Moms and Babies with Facebook Live Events with Maternal and Child Health Experts: March of Dimes President and CEO, Stacey D. Stewart, is hosting informal conversations with public health experts and others to discuss issues concerning expectant moms and new parents on Facebook Live. These sessions will guide families with the tools they need to prepare for birth and caring for a newborn at home.
- Prepare for Pregnancy at Home with Supportive Pregnancy Virtual Groups: March of Dimes will offer Supportive Pregnancy Virtual Groups (SPVG) to provide expectant families social support in this time of need. The primary focus of the program is to engage participants in dialogue to foster peer-to-peer learning and support. These group sessions are intended to complement but not supplement medical care; however, participants will have access to Becoming a Mom Online resources, to help expecting mothers prepare for pregnancy. March of Dimes is also planning a pilot with a telehealth provider focused on on-demand support for moms and babies.
- Support Research for a COVID-19 Vaccine and Treatment with the Mom and Baby COVID-19 Intervention and Support Fund: March of Dimes recently launched the Mom and Baby COVID-19 Intervention and Support Fund that will provide funds to support research for necessary interventions to prevent or treat COVID-19, advocate on behalf of moms and babies on this issue and educate the public about precautionary measures.
- Provide Food to Hospital NICU Staff: March of Dimes delivers food and snacks to NICU staff to support them as they work on the frontlines on this pandemic.
“While social distancing and self-quarantining are essential to flatten the curve in this pandemic, these policies impact the health and wellbeing of moms and babies,” added Dr. Rahul Gupta, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical and Health Officer at March of Dimes. “That’s why March of Dimes is offering free virtual support services, including group support for expecting moms, critical information for NICU parents, and informative live conversations with maternal and child health experts. In this time of need, March of Dimes is here to support the health of all moms and babies.”
These free programs are available to the public and can be accessed through the March of Dimes website or our social media channels. March of Dimes also continues to provide information and guidance for pregnant women and new moms on its blog newsmomsneed.org.