March of Dimes NICU Family Support® Program Helps Parents and Siblings of babies in Tri-City NICU
OCEANSIDE – North County families with babies in Tri-City Medical Center’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) can now find comfort from March of Dimes NICU Family Support®. Tri-City Medical Center’s partnership with March of Dimes helps families during the NICU hospitalization of newborns, the transition home, and in the event of an infant death.
Every year in the U.S. nearly half a million babies are born too soon. Approximately 50,000 are here in California. That’s why Tri-City Medical Center has the first March of Dimes NICU Family Support program in San Diego, the only Level III NICU in North County, and a complete offering of perinatal services.
Key components of Tri-City Medical Center’s March of Dimes NICU Family Support program are the scrapbooking program, parent care kit and the lending library:
- Scrapbooking Program: A bimonthly program that enables parents and children to meet other families that are going through the same process. It also provides an additional connection opportunity for older siblings and their new brother or sister. By the end of the session, families have produced a beautiful keepsake for their baby and have participated in a cathartic family experience.
- Parent Care Kit Materials: Each family who has a baby admitted to the NICU receives a parent care kit with sensitive and supportive materials. This includes a NICU guide and glossary, a baby journal, a guide for parenting in the NICU and a book to help families prepare to take their baby home.
- Lending Library: In addition to the informational package that parents receive upon admission, Tri-City Medical Center will open a lending library that provides supportive material for parents and age-appropriate reading material for siblings regarding premature babies, as well as booklets that can be read at the baby’s bedside. The lending library will launch in early 2014.
“Having a baby in the NICU can be quite challenging. That’s why having the support of an experienced and compassionate staff is essential,” explained Lowry Champion, Executive Director, San Diego March of Dimes. “NICU Family Support is one of the best ways for a hospital to ensure that families are included in the care of their baby in the NICU.”
Tri-City Medical Center shares the same family-centered approach with the March of Dimes and has implemented several services of its own to provide information and comfort to families of NICU babies:
- NICVIEW Camera System: Tri-City Medical Center offers an exclusive NICVIEW Camera System for families who want to see newborns in intensive care from home, work or anywhere they have a mobile web-enabled device. The webcam technology poses as a bridge for young siblings to start bonding with the newborn and enables parents to monitor progress.
- Lovey: During a family’s NICU experience, Tri-City Medical Center delivers a comfort-pack to parents, the highlight of which is the Lovey. A Lovey is a small flannel satchel that picks up the mother’s scent. When placed in the NICU, the Lovey serves as a scent familiarization tool but also provides babies with the comfort of their mother.
“We are thrilled to offer March of Dimes NICU Family Support program at Tri-City,” said Sharon Davies, Director of Mother and Infant Services at Tri-City Medical Center. “Having a sick baby takes an emotional toll on families. Our aim is to empower families with information during a confusing and stressful time, and give them the best care and comfort possible.”
For more information visit www.tricitymed.org or call 760-940-3000. More information about March of Dimes’ NICU Family Support program can be found here: http://www.marchofdimes.org/baby/the-nicu-family-support-program.aspx.
About Tri-City Medical Center
Tri-City Medical Center has served its community for more than half a century and is a Gold Seal- approved full service, acute- care hospital with two advanced institutes and over 500 physicians practicing in 60 specialties. Tri- City Medical Center has become the county’s leader in robotic and minimally invasive surgical technologies, including being the exclusive countywide provider for the Mazor Renaissance Surgical Guidance System for surgical repair of spinal deformities, injuries and rehabilitation. Tri-City Medical Center also has the only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in North San Diego County, now with the NICView System, a password-protected webcam system that allows parents and relatives to remotely view their newest family member.