Supporting Families ... in the Hospital
Good Beginnings sponsors formal hospital training for parents who would like to be NICU parent-to-parent volunteers. These individuals are key liaisons and support figures for new families dealing with raising a premature and, sometimes, special needs child.
Every Tuesday evening, Good Beginnings sponsors an open parent-to-parent meeting where we facilitate and lead a group discussion on the various difficult issues confronting new parents with premature or ill infants. All are welcome.
Every Friday morning, Good Beginnings hosts a coffee break in the Good Beginnings Library for parents who are in the ward and would like to meet a former NICU parent for support or to get information on the organization and its services.
Good Beginnings Library
The Good Beginnings Library, located in CSMC's NICU was dedicated in May 2005. It serves as the information hub for all of the organization's activities. This newly renovated space offers two state-of-the-art computer stations, a new kitchenette area, locked storage for families' belongings, phone access, new books on infant care, parenting, children with special needs, twins and multiples, bereavement and applicable medical journals, as well as a collection of stories of other families' experiences. We hope the tranquil surroundings provide a respite to families in the NICU.
Coming soon, NICU families will have the opportunity to create a private, secure family web page, that will allow them to provide updates on their baby's condition and post photographs for family and friends who, in turn, will be able to leave guestbook messages for the family.
New CSMC NICU Parent Orientation - Coming soon
Good Beginnings, working with representatives of the NICU staff, will take new NICU parents through a parent-friendly orientation, that will provide an overview of the need-to-know NICU information shortly upon their infants' admission.
Protecting your baby against infection is crucial while in the NICU. These guidelines will provide you with tips to keep from unnecessarily exposing your baby to germs.
For many new mothers who arrive in the NICU, they are unaware that breast feeding their premature or sick baby is still possible. Mothers who decide to breast feed, will be assisted by a dedicated team of lactation specialists.
It is not uncommon for a child in the NICU to require a blood transfusion. Find out about our directed blood donor program, or simply how to give the gift of blood.
The document was written to clearly define what rights children and their families can expect from the doctors and nurses while hospitalized.
Good Beginnings has long recognized that pictures can be a source of comfort to parents, as well as document a baby's progress. Our photography volunteers are happy to take digital images of babies upon a parent's request.
Holiday and Milestone Remembrance
In an effort to memorialize the passage of time and not let important holidays go uncelebrated, Good Beginnings brings the holiday spirit to the babies and families in the NICU. Whether it is making little costumes for Halloween for the babies, hats for Valentine's Day, or celebrating Mother's Day and Father's Day with a special gift from the baby, we think it is important to remember families and not let these times go unnoticed, even if it is in a small way.
Special milestones, like a third-month birthday in the NICU, graduation from the NICU, or first birthdays, are marked with special acknowledgements.
Baby showers are often missed by families whose baby arrives early. Good Beginnings hosts a shower up to six times per year for families whose babies are in the NICU. This event offers a room full of honorees the often-belated opportunity to simply celebrate the birth of their child.
Thanks to the donations of many "graduate" families, Good Beginnings maintains a supply of preemie and newborn clothing, both new and gently used, which is available for families whose baby is in the NICU or ready to be discharged.
Good Beginnings strives to represent NICU families and give a voice to their needs and desires to hospital administration and NICU staff during and long after their discharge. By working closely with families, we hope to impart to the NICU staff what we learn so that the unit's policies continue to develop and evolve in serving all NICU families in the best way possible. If you have any suggestions or comments, please enter them here.
ALL MATERIAL © 2009 GOOD BEGINNINGS/CEDARS-SINAI MEDICAL CENTER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.