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    Support group for NICU parents now at Baptist Health

    9:52 PM, Apr 4, 2012   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Scotty Adams and his wife Heather spent ten weeks holding on to each other, as they experienced the slow climbs and sometimes the breath taking drops on a roller coaster of emotions.

    Because of preeclampsia, little Aiden came into this world sixteen weeks early. Scotty says since his wife was still under from her C-section he was the first one to see Aiden after he was cleaned up after the delivery. "One pound five ounces and we can joke about it now but he kind of looked like a little squirrel in a way. I mean he just didn't look like a baby should have."

    Looking at that tiny infant, Scotty wondered if his newborn son would even make it through the day.

    Aiden had a couple of surgeries and worked on gaining weight, while his family, including Scotty and Heather's older son, along with several friends got used to spending a lot of time in the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit at Baptist.

    Caring for a preemie is much different from caring for a healthy newborn so there are always a lot of questions. That's where a support system comes in. A March of Dimes program called NICU FAMILY SUPPORT is now helping families feel more comfortable about what they are experiencing, even the siblings.

    Susan Clifford, Director of NICU Initiative for the March of Dimes says there are several options the hospital can choose from to help siblings. "They could do Saturday activities with crafts or food. Bring the children in; maybe let them make something that could be hung in their sibling's room. There are a lot of different things they can do."

    Misty Irving is the NICU Family Specialist who heads up the program. She says they also offer care classes for those who might be helping out with the baby once he or she comes home. "We're trying to incorporate the families in the entire process of taking care of the babies. Not just taking care of the babies but including grandparents, siblings, extended family in the care of the infant." 

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