Parents confronted with the unexpected preterm birth of their child have a difficult journey.
Preemies often enter the world with an uphill battle. Their delicate organ systems can be underdeveloped, and they are often not strong enough to breathe without a ventilator. The entire family shifts into crisis mode and rides a frightening emotional roller-coaster for months. If parents aren’t provided support and tools for coping, this acute stress can impair their abilities as parents, compromising the health and wellbeing of their preemie.
Since 2008, the TEACUP Preemie Program ® has been helping parents navigate the journey of prematurity. Designed specifically to address the unique needs of preemie parents, TEACUP® provides education and resources to reduce parental stress and support infant health and development.
TEACUP is a comprehensive support program. Services are provided in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) and the home and include hospital NICU support groups, individual support, breast pump lending, education, and resources – all to reduce parental stress, and support preemie health and development.
As the preemie transitions home, the parent may feel overwhelmed and unprepared. In addition to continued emotional support, our Baby Bungalow provides needed supplies a family may need to manage their first weeks at home. Items such as cribs, diapers, clothing, and blankets are available to families at no cost to ensure they feel supported in their transition.
The cost of serving one preemie child in the TEACUP Preemie Program® for one year is $1950. This investment allows the TEACUP Preemie Program® to provide support services both in the NICU and when the baby transitions home, ensuring families do not have to travel the journey of prematurity alone.
Nearly 10% of babies born in the United States are born premature — which results in not only adverse health outcomes for mom and baby, but also significant healthcare costs. According to the March of Dimes, a premature baby spends an average of 25.4 days in a specialty care nursery at an average cost of $144,692. The cost associated with premature birth adds $26.2 billion to U.S healthcare costs each year.
Parents of premature infants need support. A premature birth dramatically increases stress within the family and triples the risk for abuse with the presence of heightened risk factors including emotional and financial strain and prolonged medical and cognitive complications common to preemies. The TEACUP Preemie Program® provides services at no cost to families, supporting them through their journey.