March of Dimes NICU Initiatives

All Families Deserve the Best Possible Start

Even so, the best laid plans don’t always turn out as we hoped, and many babies will spend their earliest days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) due to a preterm birth, birth defects, surgical or genetic conditions, or other diagnosis. This time can be stressful and overwhelming for families. For them, March of Dimes’ NICU Initiatives offer multiple ways to access the support and education they need to help improve the patient experience.

Since 2001, March of Dimes has partnered with hospitals across the country to educate NICU staff and empower, educate and support families through evidence-based programs and a variety of online and in-person resources while babies are in the NICU and during their transition home. Our programs work with hospitals, NICUs and families in order to improve the NICU patient and family experience.


NICU Family Support® (NFS): Classic and Virtual Models

NICU Family Support is the premiere program for NICUs, offering family education, staff training on family-centered care and an improved patient experience with the support of March of Dimes experts.

  • Parent education (English and Spanish versions)—digital and print resources include the My NICU Baby® and Mi Bebé en la NICU apps and “The NICU Journey” and “In the NICU for a Shorter Stay” booklets, an evaluated parent education curriculum of 7 topics, reviewed annually for medical accuracy and health literacy standards.
  • Provider and staff education—access to webinar sessions from March of Dimes Professional Education with continuing education credits. Titles touch on topics such as the patient experience, family-centered care, quality improvement and NICU best practices. NICU Grand Rounds on trending NICU topics, such as milk banking, NAS cohorting and religious diversity also are offered, providing hospitals an opportunity to hear from their peers on important aspects of NICU care.
  • Improve patient and family experience—quality improvement consulting on unit specific goals to impact patient experience and family-centered care, including annual Patient Experience Projects and connection to the network of NICU Family Support partner hospitals. Programs host activities or events each month, such as dinners or holiday events, designed to help parents bond with baby and to form community on the journey home. 


Complementary Resources for All Families

Additional resources are offered on a limited time basis to respond to the urgent needs of NICU families. For example, we provided an online education series for NICU families during the COVID-19 pandemic. 



NICU Initiatives offers print materials via the March of Dimes Product Catalog.

Select titles available in English and Spanish include:

  • The NICU Journey booklet
  • In the NICU for a Shorter Stay booklet



We reach more than 50,000 families each year through NICU Initiatives. Hospital partners report high levels of program satisfaction and identify NICU Initiatives as a key contribution to the patient experience.

NICU Family Support Initiative

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