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.
November 17th is World Prematurity Day. At ProgenyHealth, our mission is to improve outcomes for this vulnerable population. Prematurity (birth prior to 37 weeks gestation) is the leading cause of death worldwide in children under five years of age. Here are a few facts illustrating why prematurity remains at the forefront of population management agendas.
As we observe Prematurity Awareness Month, one of our nurse case managers shares her tips for parents whose babies are admitted to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) or special care nursery as a result of their premature birth or medically complex condition.
Natalie has been a Registered Nurse for 22 years and 16 of those years were spent in the NICU. Her job was to care for babies that should have been safe and growing in their mother’s womb. Natalie recalls some preterm babies being so small that they could fit in the palm of your hand. Natalie said that it is so rewarding to help a baby born this small survive, and months later see them go home with their parents. She not only helped tiny premature and medically complex babies survive, but she also supported their families during their child’s NICU stay. It was her passion to help these families that brought her to ProgenyHealth as a NICU Case Manager. The NICU is a challenging, very fast paced environment making it difficult for many parents. Here are some things that Natalie learned through her many years in the NICU that she shares with families during what can be one of the most stressful times in their life:
Every August, World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated in more than 170 countries around the globe. It is an annual reminder to improve the health of babies around the world by encouraging breastfeeding. Breast milk is the ideal food for babies. It is an amazing "brain food," containing more than 200 ingredients that are specifically designed to provide the most idealgrowth and development for the human body. Breast milk is rich in nutrients needed by the baby for brain growth and development.