If you have a baby that is in the NICU, we want you to know that you don't have to go through this experience alone. Whether you are looking for personalized in-person support, or simply want to be a part of our free NICU Peer Mentorship Program or local Facebook group, we have resources to help you and your baby grow and thrive together.
Give Back to the Community
Cincinnati Children's is currently looking for local families to participate in an advisory council as they design a research study aimed at improving NICU families' experiences. Participants will not be a part of the research itself, but simply helping Dr. Liz Enlow and her team design the future study. Participants do not have to have spent time at the Cincinnati Children's NICU, and can have spent time at any of the greater Cincinnati area's NICUs. You can contact research assistant Adrienne King directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (513) 813-NICU (6428). Here are the details:
NICU Doula Services
If you are in need of in-person support, Kate Rich is a trained and certified labor doula and bereavement doula with continuing education in NICU care. Whether you are expecting a NICU stay for your unborn baby, or your baby is already here, she can come alongside you to:
- Help create a personalized preference plan to prepare for the birth, welcoming your baby, and bonding with him or her no matter what the circumstances are.
- Assist you in processing your story, experiences, and emotions, and offer referrals if necessary to trusted and experienced mental health providers in the area if needed.
- Complementing you and your baby's healthcare team to help you learn how to support your baby and help him or her grow and heal through skin-to-skin contact, and assistance starting to establish breastfeeding when you and your baby are ready.
- 24/7 contact through email, text, or phone as needed, even when it's 2am and you don't know who else to call in the initial weeks.
- On-going encouragement and support even after discharge to answer questions about the many things that may come up, including emotional hurdles, the logistics of pumping, bottle-feeding, and attempting to transition to the breast if desired, continued bonding with your new baby, and helping you and your family transition.
For more details, please email Kate directly at email@example.com or contact her through our contact page:
Cincinnati & Dayton NICU Peer Mentorship Program
The Cincinnati & Dayton NICU Peer Mentorship is a 10 Week, email-based program that is an entirely FREE resource to families. Women who are currently expecting a NICU stay, have a child in the NICU, or who have had a child in the NICU within the last 6 months may apply to be matched with a NICU Mentor. All NICU Mentors are other women who have experienced the NICU themselves, and have gone through the program themselves.
Each week for 10 weeks, your Mentor will email you with questions on a topic related to your NICU experience and designed to help you think through and process your experiences and enhance your support. She will also share her own experiences and stories with you, because even though your story is unique, we want you to know: you are not alone. Topics covered include:
- Bonding with your baby
- Tangible Needs & Resources
- Emotional Needs & Resources
- Enhancing & strengthening other close family relationships
- Life after discharge
- And more....