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New program launches for parents of newborns in neo-natal intensive care units, special care nurseries

BabyCoach is a partnership between University of South Carolina College of Nursing and South Carolina Care Inclusion Collaborative

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A new program aimed at assisting parents of newborns in neo-natal intensive care units (NICU) and special care nurseries (SCN) launched on Thursday, April 20, at the University of South Carolina College of Nursing.

BabyCoach offers new parents resources and assistance when bringing their child home from a NICU or SCN. Parents are connected with a BabyCoach nurse prior to the baby's release and offers in-home visits within two weeks of the baby's arrival at home. The program also offers follow-up in-home and virtual visits as the baby grows as well as online resources, including a support network with other families and updates on baby care.

“Being a new parent can be an overwhelming experience. The experience can be intensified for new parents learning to manage the additional care considerations for children who are being discharged from a NICU or special care nursery. BabyCoach works to help parents navigate the process by acting as a reliable resource straight from the hospital,” said BabyCoach Co-Program Director, Dr. Victoria Davis.

Other services offered through BabyCoach include support to parents with questions about baby care and special health needs, including clarifying discharge directions, and assessing the developmental progress of the infant. The BabyCoach team also can help families identify priority resources and recommend referrals to support babies with special healthcare needs.

BabyCoach is part of a statewide grant managed by South Carolina Department of Social Services and is funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services. Partners in the program include University of South Carolina College of Nursing, South Carolina Care Inclusion Collaborative, Today is A Good Day, Help Me Grow SC, the Brain and Mind Institute, and hospital personnel.

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