|Local Support||On-line and Remote Support|
Preemie Care Packages—We have developed a care package that is delivered to NICUs in the Washington DC metropolitan area. These care packages include such items as local resources, information about Preemies Today, and items for the Preemie. For example, some of the care packages have included blankets or sleepers. Would you like to get involved in our care package program or find out more?
Family Outings— We host monthly get-togethers for families to have the opportunity to meet each other and share their experiences. Examples of past outings include a picnic, a story time get-together, a holiday party, and a petting farm. All of the locations that we visit are child and baby friendly. We ask that all participants be aware of member health conditions and to not bring any babies or family members that are sick. Keeping our preemies healthy is always a top concern! Talk to your doctor to determine when it is the right time to include your preemie in group events. [click here if you want to view the Preemies Today Illness policy.]
Parent Support Groups—We facilitate support group meetings for parents and relatives to help one another cope with their experiences. The support group meetings are held in a variety of locations in the Washington DC metropolitan area. The meetings are a great chance to know some fellow members, take a break for yourself, and share questions and ideas about raising a preemie.
Preemie Playgroups—We coordinate playgroups geared specifically towards the needs of preemies. The playgroups are equipped with toys and physical activities recommended by therapists to help advance physical development.
Take a Break—Everyone needs a helping hand occasionally. The Take a Break program provides preemie families with some meals and support during periods when they could use some extra support. Other Preemies Today members may bring food directly to the Take a Break recipient so they can enjoy a meal with their family, or deliver a small gift to the hospital for preemies that are re-hospitalized.
Annual Celebration and Silent Auction—Each spring, Preemies Today hosts an annual celebration in conjunction with a silent auction. It’s a great way to celebrate how well our preemies are doing and how much hard work our members have done throughout the year. We honor local healthcare professionals or other individuals that have supported preemies and Preemies Today during the year. The funds from the silent auction support continuing programs. Be sure to come and bid on your favorite item. Past auction items have included great deals on airline tickets, wine, behind the scenes tours of local sights, and toys for your preemie or child.
Preemies Today Parent-to-Parent Telephone Line—Call us if you would like to talk to a mentor parent who has experienced the same things you have. Our toll free number is 1-888-712-3208. Please leave a message and a member will return your call as soon as possible.
On-line Chats—Join our moderated chat once a month online. It’s a great way to talk to other preemie parents without leaving your house! Each month we discuss a different topic. We have discussed such topics as reflux, eye sight, behavior, and coping with the first few months at home with your preemie. Participants in the chat come from locations across the country as well as local parents who need to be home with their little ones.
Newsletter—Our newsletter, started in March 2003, focuses on issues dealing with the health and development of premature infants and their families. It is a non-profit publication which features a “Preemie of the Month” cover story, program updates, focus articles, and other interesting news pertaining to prematurity. The articles are contributed by volunteers and healthcare professionals. Currently our newsletter is distributed to requesting hospitals, doctor offices, and therapists. In 2004, we began publishing a Spanish edition of our newsletter which is available quarterly. The Preemies Today newsletter can be received through the mail or electronically via e-mail. [click here to subscribe to the newsletter] [click here to view our newsletter archive]
Resource Brochure—Preemies Today developed its first brochure in June of 2004. This publication includes helpful websites, books, and different support organizations. It includes, but is not limited to, helping parents find information on apnea, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, cerebral palsy, hernias, jaundice, necrotizing enterocolitis, respiratory syncytial virus, and retinopathy of prematurity. This brochure is currently being distributed to parents at local hospitals and doctor’s offices. In an effort to support the needs of families post-NICU, we are developing a second brochure: “Parents’ Guide to Local Resources.” This will include information such as local area medical equipment distributors, local public health infant development programs, and the Virginia Bureau of Insurance. [click here to view the brochure]. Local Preemie Resources Brochure, VA/MD/DC [click here to view the brochure].