Every year, thousands of babies are admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital due to premature birth or medical conditions requiring specialized and personalized care. In fact, one in every 10 babies born in the U.S. is admitted to a NICU each year. The Level IV NICU at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital offers the highest level of life-saving care available for both premature and critically ill newborns.

Whether you’re navigating the NICU for the first time or have been down this path before, it can be an emotional journey that requires strength, resilience and a supportive system. For any family, we understand the stress, anxiety and exhaustion that can come with having a baby in the hospital. The NICU journey has its challenges, but we are here to support you and your family every step of the way.

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Our Family-centered Approach: Caring for the Whole Family

In January 2022, Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, in partnership with March of Dimes, launched the NICU Family Support® (NFS) program. This program educates and supports families in the NICU and during their transition home.

For more than 85 years, March of Dimes has led the fight for the health of all moms and babies. March of Dimes is dedicated to funding lifesaving research, providing programs and education and advocating for vital health equity to create a world where every family, mom and baby are healthy and strong, regardless of wealth, race, gender or geography. The March of Dimes’ goals are to end the preventable maternal health risks and deaths, end preventable preterm birth and infant death, and close the health equity gap.

Facilitated by a NICU Family Support Program Coordinator, the NFS program helps to increase NICU families’ knowledge and confidence to care for their baby. Our Children’s Memorial Hermann NFS Program Coordinator plays a vital role in this program, emphasizing a family-centered approach to care. The program addresses:

  • Parent education and support
  • Staff support and training on family-centered care
  • Enhancing the patient and family experience

The NFS Program Coordinator spends one-on-one time at the bedside, forming deep, personal connections and providing comfort to NICU families. Creating an environment where parents feel genuinely supported is crucial. Parents are involved in the care process, ensuring they feel connected, informed and empowered. This approach sets us apart, emphasizing the human touch that makes such a remarkable difference for the babies in the NICU. 

Empowering NICU Families Through March of Dimes Partnership

Thanks to our partnership with the March of Dimes, our program offers a wealth of valuable information, resources, and comfort, supporting parents throughout their NICU journey and during their transition home.

Educating NICU families

The March of Dimes NFS program at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital provides essential education and support for families facing the challenges of the NICU. The March of Dimes core curriculum covers a range of topics, including:

  • Self-care: We provide self-care resources, including mind-body somatic therapeutic programmatic activities for both antepartum and NICU families, offering a valuable tool to enhance coping mechanisms. Recognizing that taking care of your NICU baby requires taking care of yourself, our team supports your emotional well-being.
  • Kangaroo Care: The “Close to Me” parent class is an interactive session where you, as a parent, can discover the advantages of skin-to-skin care with your infant. It’s an opportunity to also connect with other families and gain insights into parenting your baby while in the NICU.
  • Infection Control: Our educational sessions teach you about the importance of infection control measures in the NICU environment, ensuring a safe and healthy space for your baby – and all our patients.
  • Educational resources: We provide March of Dimes’ educational materials in print and online (English and Spanish), as well as a free app to help you learn, engage and navigate your NICU journey.
  • Preparing your baby for discharge: We guide you through important steps to prepare your baby for going home, giving you the information and confidence for a smooth transition.

Educating NICU Staff

Our program not only supports NICU families, but also empowers NICU nurses and staff with continuing education. We ensure they have convenient access to valuable resources through free web-based and onsite training classes where they can get continuing education credit.

Improving the Patient Experience

We strive to improve the NICU experience by coordinating monthly activities, events and special initiatives such as the Kangaroo-a-Thon and Read-a-Thon. These events, including celebrations like Valentine’s Day and creative arts and crafts sessions, play a crucial role in fostering a supportive community among NICU families. The strong advocacy of our local March of Dimes partners and generosity of donors is instrumental in making these moments possible, enabling us to provide meaningful gifts, nourishing meals, and essential services for both families and dedicated NICU staff. Additionally, our program formally collaborates with families on hospital improvement projects through family advisory groups, emphasizing a collaborative approach to enhance the quality of care.

Our community-building approach transforms the NICU journey into a supportive and empowering experience for all families. Remember, you are never alone on this journey.

Learn more about the March of Dimes Family Support Program »

Our time with our baby in the NICU was the hardest, scariest time I've ever known. I really believe that having the support, compassion and comfort of the NICU Family Support Program Coordinator literally saved my life, and ultimately saved my baby's, too. I was able to be a better advocate because of the support I received.”

~ Jami, Hannah’s mom

Contact Us

For more information about the March of Dimes NICU Family Support program at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital, please contact nicufamilysupport@memorialhermann.org.

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NICU & Neonatal Care
Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital