NICU Helping Hands-Family Support for Fragile Beginnings was first created in response to the growing need in Fort Worth, Texas for a local organization to support preemie families during their stay in the NICU and transition home. Their reach has since expanded nationwide to provide emotional, educational, and financial support to parents coping with the challenges of having a premature infant. Programs include mentorships that connect NICU families with experienced graduate families, opportunities for parent and professional education, and a robust hospital program, Project NICU, to enhance the support and education that NICU staff provide to families. In addition, NICU Helping Hands' Angel Gown Program comforts grieving families in the hospital by providing a beautiful infant burial gown to honor their child. To learn more, visit their website.
The Association of Women's Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) is a nonprofit membership organization committed to improving and promoting the the health of women and newborns, as well as strengthening the nursing profession through research, education, and advocacy. AWHONN provides nurses and other professionals with clinical resources, guidelines, publications, and extensive support. AWHONN will host their annual convention June 14-18 at the Disney Coronado Spring Resort in Orlando, Florida. Attendees at the upcoming convention will be inspired to become better healthcare providers, leaders, and professionals in their field.
Preemies Today is a nonprofit organization based in the Washington, D.C. area that provides families with the latest prematurity education, a parent-to-parent support group, preemie care packages, hosts family outings, and initiated a local preemie playgroup. Preemies Today sends out a monthly e-newsletter, hosts Facebook chats, and can also be found on Twitter. Along with the SIDS Mid-Atlantic group, Preemies Today will host a support group on Thursday, March 6th for anyone affected by the loss of a baby. The event’s goal is to provide an inclusive, understanding, and patient environment where families and preemies can come together for support, education, and to discuss their own NICU experiences.
Families Blossoming provides coaching-based emotional support and resources for the parents of children born preterm and those with special needs, specializing in the post-NICU or post-diagnosis period. An independent business founded by preemie and special-needs mom Gigi Khonyongwa-Fernandez, Families Blossoming draws on the expertise from Gigi's experiences as a parent and advocate for her own child, as well as her professional background as an occupational therapist and healthcare project manager. In addition to coaching services, Families Blossoming also supports parents with a blog, a monthly e-newsletter, a Facebook page, and a forthcoming book, From Roller Coasters to Carousels: An Interactive Guide To Regaining and Maintaining A Sense of Calmness for the Preemie and Special Needs Parent.
Parent's of Preemies Day is taking place on March 10th.
The goal of the day is to recognize the courage and commitment it takes to be a preemie parent.
Across the country there will be free community events for parents to attend where they will receive and provide support from each other and talk with other preemie resources and specialists in their area. No preemie journey is the same, and parents in the same NICU at the same time may receive totally different information and resources depending on their situation. Parents of Preemies Day sets out to help bring parents and these resources together to have a broader conversation on prematurity and what it means to be a preemie parent.
In addition to the events, nationwide efforts are on their way to bring this conversation to the larger community. So often parents say they friends and family don't understand what there going through because being a parent of a preemie it is not something that is widely talked about. The day is designed as a celebration to honor these parents and inform the greater community about their struggles, milestones, and needed support.
To find out more information and see how you can get involved, visit: http://parentsofpreemiesday.org
Graham's Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded in 2009 by Jennifer and Nick Hall in memory of their son Graham, offers practical and emotional support to parents of premature babies. The foundation supports parents with care packages for NICU, transition home, and remembrance, as well as through a vibrant online community and social media presence, providing a place for parents to share their stories and find support.
Caiden's Hope, a nonprofit NICU-family support organization serving Texas and California, is founded on a simple but powerful belief: Having a child in the NICU is enough stress. Parents shouldn't then have to sleep on the hospital floor. Caiden's Hope alleviates the unexpected financial burdens of travel and hotel stays for families whose infants have necessary, extended, non-elective clinic or hospital stays. The organizational vision came to life after meeting a young NICU couple at the UCLA Medical Center: Each night they would gather their belongings, leave their baby and move upstairs to an empty waiting room, where they would sleep on the floor in their sleeping bags. Showering in the hospital bathroom the next morning, they would be back downstairs ready to care for their child. See Caiden's Hope families share their stories.
Eli's Hope, a faith-based nonprofit organization founded in 2011, serves Chicago-area NICU families to meet both practical and spiritual needs. They provide NICU support gift bags at partnering hospitals; bereavement services; "Home from the NICU" transitioning; and family activities including Sibling Day, Preemie Moms/Dads Night Out, and seminars like NICU Survival Guide and Scrapbooking Your NICU Sweetie. Read about their participation in NPIHC's 2012 summit on the Eli's Hope blog!