NICU Resources for Parents

This can be a stressful time for your family, a time that you may feel unprepared for. You have a very important role as part of your baby's health care team and we want to offer you support throughout your time here.

To support you, your baby and your family, we offer a wide range of services:

NICU Peer Support on the Web

The NICU has specially trained graduate parents available to offer peer support. Their NICU experiences make them especially helpful to parents struggling with the challenges of having their baby in the unit. Parent Hosts, Social Workers, or your Nurse can tell you more about our web-based parent mentor program. To choose the mentor you would like to contact, visit the NICU Peer Support page.  The username and password can be found on a flyer in the Parent Information binder in your baby’s room.

Helpful Sources of Information on the Web

Our Family Library Cart (see below) is a great resource for parents and families to learn about the care of babies in the NICU.  Families also often ask us about reliable sources of information on the internet.  Some websites that we suggest visiting are:

Spiritual Care

Chaplains are part of your health care team, working closely with physicians, nurses, social workers and other health care providers. Visit our spiritual care page to learn more about our spiritual care advisors, chapels and quiet rooms.

Breastfeeding & Lactation Consultants

Lactation Consultants are available to help you. Learn more about our breastfeeding support resources and outpatient breastfeeding clinic.

Care Pages

Create a free website for your family to share information with your friends and family using CarePages.

Family Library Cart  

You’re welcome to browse our library cart for books on subjects related to the NICU, many written by graduate parents. There are also children’s books which you can read to your baby or your baby’s siblings. You may borrow these books to take to your baby’s room or to your home, but we ask that you please return them for others to read. The cart can be found in the Family Lounge.

“Max to the Millions” Scrapbooking

Scrapbooks and scrapbooking supplies are available in the Family Lounge. These gifts are part of an endowment for established in 2005 by Yvonne DeVries and her daughter Dominique, in honor of their son and brother, Max. You can ask the Parent Host for a scrapbook for your baby. The March of Dimes supports this activity, along with their support of Hope Beads and the Family Library Cart.

Hope Beads

Families can construct a necklace made from beads that symbolize the NICU journey. Hope Beads are available in the Family Lounge by asking the Parent Host. Each bead represents a milestone in your baby’s stay with us, like the First Bath Penguin or the Kangaroo Care Ladybug. Beads are strung on a cord for parents and siblings to take home.

Second Saturdays Family Lunch

On the Second Saturday of each month, families and friends are invited to the Family Lounge at 12 noon, for lunch and to visit with other NICU families. Pizza, salad, dessert, and drinks are served. These meals are a gift from Domino’s Pizza.

Infant Massage Instruction

A trained infant massage instructor can teach families infant massage, which promotes bonding, reduces tension and fussing, aids in physical development, and helps relieve colic. Please ask your nurse or Parent Host about this service.

U-M NICU graduates email list

If you’d like receive occasional emails and an annual reunion reminder notice, please fill out contact information card in the Family Lounge.  

Brandon NICU Baby Book

This is a specially designed Baby Book so that you may record your baby's special birth and hospital experiences. You can ask the Parent Host if you have not received one. The Baby Book is offered through a grant from the Friend’s Gift Shop.

Annual NICU Graduate Family Reunion   

Each year, NICU graduates and their families are invited to a picnic reunion that includes t-shirt decorating, face-painting, and entertainment. This event takes place in partnership with the March of Dimes/March for Babies at Hudson Mills Metropark, typically the last weekend in April or the first weekend in May.