Some specific ways that we serve our NICU families include, but are not limited to the following programs:
THRIVE NICU Family Support Group
Our peer led support group is held at Ronald McDonald House of the Bluegrass on the third Tuesday evening of each month and open to current NICU families from all Lexington hospitals and all past NICU families already discharged from their stay. We also welcome anyone who is expecting with a high risk pregnancy that may deliver early to drop in if they’d like! We provide a safe, casual, friendly environment for families to come together to discuss their shared experiences and support and empower each other. We truly believe that with the right support system a family can not just survive the NICU but THRIVE in the NICU and beyond. Dinner is provided during the group and it is child friendly!
“Fill Your Cup” Self Care Initiative
EBF delivers NICU Mom Water Bottles with self care encouragement tags to NICUs at all local participating hospitals monthly as well as the Ronald McDonald House of the Bluegrass.
Self-care is very important and often overlooked by mothers with babies in the NICU. EBF wants to promote the importance of self care to our families, especially NICU moms who are also still recovering from birth, by providing our mothers with a reminder to fill up their cup, literally and figuratively, so that they can continue to be the best parent for their NICU baby!
Family Specific Needs Assistance Program
NICU stays come with many potential financial issues that families often run into. We are a resource to which they can reach out for help in solving their individual needs. Through our Assistance Program, families can fill out an application describing their a specific pressing financial need related to their NICU stay and our team will review applications and disperse funds as budget allows throughout the year. We work closely with community businesses throughout the Bluegrass to meet these needs as well as using our own program funding.
Friend2Friend Encouragement Visits
Upon request by a family, an experienced NICU grad parent from our volunteer team will meet one on one with 1) mom’s on antepartum bed rest expecting a likely NICU stay after delivery or 2) a family currently going through a NICU experience who would like some extra support from someone who has been there. A personalized NICU Family Care Package is delivered during one on one visit.
EBF has a Friend2Friend team of NICU grad parents on call to offer their personal experiences and encouragement to families in need.
Our care packages include: a NICU themed storybook to encourage bonding through reading, a preemie or newborn outfit for baby, travel size toiletries, grab n go snacks and a $25 Visa gift card.
NICU Family Experience Stories
Aid in spreading awareness of the difficulties of a NICU stay on the family by sharing the stories of some of the NICU families we get to know. These stories are written by the NICU families themselves and shared through our blog on this website and on our Facebook page.
“Made with Love” NICU Mementos
Through our Craft Night events held in Somerset, KY, we bring discharge NICU families and their community together to create personalized, unique name cards for NICU bassinets as a special keepsake for parents. These craft nights also allow for discharged NICU families to come together and share their stories with members of their communities spreading awareness throughout KY.
Throughout the year, we hold seasonal/holiday events to help NICU families feel a little sense of normal in a season of waiting! Some examples of our special events include Muffins for NICU Moms (Mother’s Day deliveries), Donuts for NICU Dads (Father’s Day deliveries), Special Education Session: Empowering the Discharged NICU Families, NICU Storybook Drive in September for NICU Give Day, Wave of Light Remembrance Walk for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, Pickin’ for Preemies Annual Family Event, and St. NICU in December