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Every September, we come together with hundreds of other support organizations, partners, and professionals to recognize NICU Awareness Month. We work to share stories of our community, and focus on advocacy to improve care, communication and connection for our HIE families. Historically, the NICU has been painted as just a place where premature infants go, but we know that half of all babies admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit are actually full term babies.
While HIE can impact any gestation, the majority of cases impact full term babies. Historically, HIE families have felt out of place in the NICU, because of the significant support given to premature babies and their families. Hope for HIE incorporated officially in 2014 to help decrease this disparity. We still have a long way to go, but we are so pleased to see leading organizations that were traditionally focused on premature babies, shifting their focus to update their messaging to be inclusive of all NICU families. We are grateful especially for the NICU Parent Network, Project Sweet Peas, and Hand to Hold for working with us on this messaging over the last several years.
When families feel included and empowered, and connecting to the specific support resources that help them, we know that improves parental confidence and outcomes for babies. We still have a lot of work to do. HIE continues to not be named, due to many factors, with too many families. We continue to advocate for naming the diagnosis and connecting to specific support resources to improve care, communication and connection.
Throughout September, we will be taking part in several observance days through Project Sweet Peas collaborative efforts. Join us!
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