Families with Babies in Intensive Care to Benefit from New Project

| Friday, November 6, 2015

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Partnership between March of Dimes and UMass Memorial Medical Center

Worcester, MA, November 06, 2015 —

The March of Dimes and UMass Memorial Medical Center launched the new NICU Family Support program at the hospital’s Memorial Campus.  NICU Family Support® is a signature program of the March of Dimes, and works in conjunction with local hospital partners to provide accurate, trusted, and meaningful information and comfort to families experiencing a NICU stay.


When families are preparing for a new baby, no one expects anything to go wrong. But every year approximately 1 in 10 newborns are admitted to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) because they are born too soon, too small, or with a birth defect. The hospitalization of a baby in a NICU can be one of the most frightening, confusing and overwhelming experiences a parent can have.

March of Dimes NICU Family Support® provides information and comfort to families experiencing a NICU stay, coordinates a hospital’s family support activities, and provides staff professional development on Family-Centered Care.

 “Hearing about the March of Dimes NICU Family Support Program I was not surprised that the hospital would decide to adopt a program that was so centered about caring for the families,” Said parent of a 25 week preemie, Stacy Plunkett.  “I wish they had this program when we were in the NICU.  I truly believe that the March of Dimes and UMass Memorial have just made life a little easier for NICU families.”

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.

“We are proud to partner with UMass Memorial Medical Center on the implementation of NICU Family Support,” Ed Doherty Chapter Director of the March of Dimes. “These programs are available in more than 130 hospitals across the country, but we won’t be satisfied until fewer families need them because of premature birth.”

The March of Dimes acknowledges the generosity of Next Generation Children’s Centers in the sponsorship of this program.

Click here to see photos from the event.

The March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health.  For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.org or nacersano.org. Find us on Facebook and Twitter.

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About March of Dimes

March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we empower every mom and every family.

Visit marchofdimes.org or nacersano.org for more information. Visit shareyourstory.org for comfort and support. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter.