March of Dimes NICU Family Support Program
One in every 10 babies born in the U.S. is admitted to a newborn intensive care unit (NICU) because of premature birth or another medical condition. Having a baby hospitalized in a NICU can be frightening, confusing and overwhelming for parents. In conjunction with its national Prematurity Campaign, the March of Dimes developed NICU Family Support, a family-centered program that uses parent-to-parent support to address the unique emotional needs of families who have newborns in the NCCC.
In September 2007, the March of Dimes chose N.C. Children's Hospital as the first hospital in North Carolina to implement NICU Family Support. Guided by former NICU families and led by a March of Dimes staff person, the program is built on a family-centered philosophy and addresses the needs of families throughout the hospitalization, during the transition home, and in the event of a newborn death. The program also offers a professional development component for caregivers, providing educational opportunities to help doctors and nurses sensitively support families on a daily basis.
If you would like more information about the NICU Family Support Program at N.C. Children's Hospital, please contact Sarah Atwater, March of Dimes NCCC Family Support Specialist, at 919-843-0552.