Navigating the stressors of a medically complicated birth can seem overwhelming, even for those that may have good health insurance and few barriers to resources. For families struggling to overcome disparities involving the social determinants of health, like lack of access to basic necessities (e.g. housing or food) or even managing addiction or mental health concerns, giving birth to a NICU baby can create further insecurities experienced by the whole family. This is where our team of social workers at ProgenyHealth play such a pivotal role in the lives of these vulnerable infants and their families, connecting them to vital local resources like food and housing, drug rehabilitation programs, and counseling services.
This week marks World Breastfeeding Week, which is dedicated to the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding worldwide. Breastfeeding is one of the most natural things a mother can do for her baby. The health benefits for the baby are well known and well published. Included in Healthy People 2020’s agenda, are measures associated with increasing the number of mothers who choose to breastfeed their babies and goals for the length of time a baby is breastfed as well as improving work place support programs.
Ask any mom or family member who’s been through the experience, and they’ll tell you there’s nothing “normal” about a NICU stay, regardless of how long it lasts, or the relative health of their infant. Even when care is provided by dedicated staff at the best hospitals, the emotional roller coaster ride endures for the entire NICU length-of-stay, which can average 20+ days.
Helping both families and providers during this time (and enabling payers to provide additional benefits and expertise to support them), is critical to reducing overall system costs and ensuring each infant has the best possible chance for a healthy outcome.
ProgenyHealth’s team of neonatologists, pediatric nurses, and social workers have managed over 65,000 NICU cases to-date as part of our neonatal medical management service offering. Infants born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) – symptoms related to opioid exposure in the womb – represent a complex and growing segment of this population. Tackling their unique challenges requires a specialized approach that supports the needs of both the mother and the baby.
May 6 - 12 is National Nurses Week and this years' theme is "4 million reasons to celebrate". Like their colleagues everywhere, our team of highly skilled nurses works tirelessly every day to support the health outcomes of the tiniest of patients: infants who are or have been in neonatal intensive care units.
Premature and medically complex newborn cases are inherently challenging. And when broader variables such as the social determinants of health come into play, ensuring positive outcomes for both babies and families becomes exponentially more difficult. This is the challenge that ProgenyHealth's nurses embrace on a daily basis.
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