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 Each year, approximately 15 million babies are born prior to full-term and this number is continuing to grow. Many premature babies end up in the neonatal intensive care unit to get the special care they need while their bodies grow and develop. An important part of keeping these babies alive and their families thriving is the support they receive from community members, medical teams, researchers and more. 

NICU Awareness Month was founded to help highlight the needs of these tiny humans and their families, garnering help and support from their communities and the general public.

History of NICU Awareness Month

The inaugural celebration of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Awareness Month took place in 2014 when it was founded by the nonprofit organization called Project Sweet Peas. With the purpose of building a strong, supportive community and expanding resources, this event aims to bring hope and a positive impact to those families whose journeys are impacted by NICU experiences.

How to Celebrate NICU Awareness Month

Consider some of these ideas to get started with observing NICU Awareness Month:

Thank a NICU Team Member

The March of Dimes is a charity that supports maternal health, working to reduce and prevent preterm births while supporting the families who experience them. In honor of NICU Awareness Month, this organization hosts an online Wall of Gratitude where individuals can post messages of thanks or a tribute to a neonatal nurse who went above and beyond for their family. 

Share NICU Stories

Families who have had positive or life-saving experiences with the NICU can offer up their stories in honor of NICU Awareness Month. Of course, stories can be told to friends and family members in person, or perhaps this would be a good way to make that social media platform count by sharing stories and improving public awareness about the critical needs that the families of NICU and premature babies have.

This might also be a good time to give a shoutout to a favorite NICU nurse or doctor who has provided exceptional care. Or to post a picture of a baby, child, or even a young adult who started out their life in a NICU and is now thriving!

Help Support a NICU Charity

One excellent way to get involved with observing NICU Awareness Month might be to make a donation or sign up to work as a volunteer with a charity that supports families with babies in the neonatal units. A number of excellent non-profit organizations are dedicated to providing support for and helping to meet the needs of these families, as well as performing life-saving medical research. Consider ways to help a neonatal charity, perhaps starting with one of these:

Those who are interested in NICU Awareness Month may also want to check out the observance of World Prematurity Day, which takes place on November 17 each year.  

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