March of Dimes, an organization dedicated to the fight for the health of mothers and babies, today presented a series of services and resources at no cost to pregnant mothers and new mothers, in order to provide them with the advice and support they need. as the country struggles to combat the spread of COVID-19.
As society adjusts to new public health guidelines, pregnant women and first-time mothers face a unique challenge: how to better prepare for childbirth, baby care, and optimize their own health and well-being, as well as that of your newborn.
“The emergence of COVID-19 and the effect it is having on families around the world is truly devastating,” said Stacey D. Stewart, President and CEO of the March of Dimes. “We are concerned about pregnant women and babies who may be at risk of becoming ill during this pandemic and we are here to support them with critical resources and free services to meet their current and future needs.”
From health education to fundraising to support vaccine research and treatment against COVID-19, including critical support for parents with babies in the neonatal intensive care unit or NICU (NICU, by The March of Dimes offers a variety of programs to support mothers and babies during the pandemic. The organization is also actively working to forge partnerships with outside providers that are helping moms and their babies. Specifically, these programs include:
- Virtual support for NICU parents with NICU Family Support®: The March of Dimes is offering a virtual NICU Family Support (NFS) program with its hospital partners to provide education and support to parents with babies in the NICU through a digital platform in hospitals across the country. This ensures that families can continue to receive the support and education they need, while maintaining hospital protocols for infection control. Additionally, we are keeping our educational resources for hospital staff associated with the NFS program free of charge, including a session on personal care of caregivers.
- COVID-19 updates for mothers and families using the My NICU Baby® app: The March of Dimes My NICU Baby® app provides relevant COVID-19 information for families with a child in the NICU. It includes videos on infection control and parental self-care, as well as ways to support siblings and options for connecting with other families with children in the NICU. The app is available for free to all NICU families across the country through the Apple Store and Google Play. For more information, visit the site: mynicubaby.org
- Get the latest news on the impact of COVID-19 on moms and babies with live Facebook events featuring maternal and child health experts: March of Dimes President and CEO Stacey D. Stewart is hosting informal conversations with public health experts and others to address topics related to moms-to-be and new parents through Facebook Live. These sessions will guide families with the tools they need to prepare for the birth and care of a newborn at home.
- Prepare for pregnancy at home with Virtual Pregnancy Support Groups: March of Dimes will offer Supportive Pregnancy Virtual Groups (SPVG) to provide expecting families with social support in this time of need . The main focus of the program is to engage participants in dialogue to foster peer learning and support. These group sessions are intended to complement medical care, but not to replace it; however, participants will have access to Becoming a Mom Online resources to help expectant mothers prepare for pregnancy. The March of Dimes is also planning a pilot program with a telehealth provider focused on on-demand support for mothers and babies.
- Supporting research for a vaccine and treatment against COVID-19 with the COVID-19 Intervention and Support Fund for Moms and Babies: The March of Dimes recently launched the Mom and Baby COVID-19 Intervention and Support Fund, which It will provide funds to support research into interventions needed to prevent or treat COVID-19, advocate on behalf of moms and babies on this topic, and educate the public about precautionary measures.
- Meals for NICU Hospital Staff: The March of Dimes delivers meals and snacks to NICU staff to support them as they work on the front lines of this pandemic.
“While social distancing and self-quarantine are essential to flatten the curve in this pandemic, these policies affect the health and well-being of mothers and babies,” said Dr. Rahul Gupta, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for March of Dimes health.
He added, “That is why the March of Dimes is offering free virtual support services, including group support for expectant mothers, critical information for NICU parents, and live informational conversations with maternal and child health experts. Right now Out of necessity, the March of Dimes is here to support the health of all moms and their babies. “