Note to Parents:
It can be very stressful having a baby in the NICU. During this time, it is helpful to include siblings as much as possible; to explain in simple terms what is happening with your new baby; to reassure them that they have not caused the baby to be early, sick, or small; and to remind them that they are not the source of your current worries. Most of all, you should reserve special time just for them, and remind them daily of your constant and unconditional love. More than ever, they need to feel secure, valued, safe, and loved by you and others. The Come Home Soon coloring book will help you guide your children to an understanding of why their baby sister or brother is in the NICU, and what they can do to help.
Different Dream serves as a gathering place for parents with special needs children.
Hand to Hold provides resources and support to parents of preemies, babies with special health care needs and new parents who have lost a baby.
Human Milk Banking Association of North American provides information and resources on donor milk banking for parents and health care providers. It also sets safety guidelines for all non-profit mothers' milk banks in North America.
Kangaroo Mother Care promotes skin-to-skin contact, a universally available and biologically sound method of care for all newborns, and preemies, in particular.
La Leche League International is a mother-to-mother breastfeeding support organization. They are a source of information and firsthand accounts related to providing preterm babies with breastmilk.
Managing the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is an article from the Loyola University of New Orleans' online nursing resource center. A great resource for students, professionals and even parents of babies in the NICU.
March of Dimes (MOD) has a wealth of information about the NICU. They support an online community especially for NICU families. March of Dimes NICU Family Support programs operate in many NICUs. (Also available in Spanish.)
National Premature Infant Health Coalition consists of a variety of support organizations focused on improving the lives of parents and their preemies.
NICU Parent Support Site provides information, resources, and encouragement to reassure and support NICU parents.
Prematurity strives to support preemie parents by providing information on prematurity and preemie care.
Preemie Parent Alliance(PPA) represents a number of organizations that help support the parents of preemies and strives to improve the quality of the care they provide.
Preemie World brings together parents and professionals in the NICU. They strive to educate and help make the transition to home easier for everyone.
Ronald McDonald House serves as a home away from home for families with children receiving medical treatment. Families can do laundry, eat freshly cooked meals, sleep in private rooms, and gain/give support with other families.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid Programs provide financial assistance for NICU medical expenses. Eligibility for assistance is determined by a baby's birth weight rather than an income. You must apply for these programs shortly after your baby is born. Ask your social worker or care manager for assistance.
WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) provides nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, and referrals to health care for women, infants, and children up to 5 years. Even if you have been denied Medicaid due to financial reasons, you might still qualify for WIC.
This list can be found in the Resource for NICU Families section of our award winning Coloring Book for the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the NICU.