As we observe NICU Awareness Month, we remember and honor those families who have experienced infant loss. We think also of the group of very special parents who have chosen to honor their children by reaching out to other grieving families, offering support and an understanding community. Their work and perspective are irreplaceable and we thank them for everything they do to support bereaved families. These are a few of the support services available for families who have lost children:

Today is a Good Day is an organization founded by Martha and Paul Sharkey in memory of their daughter Mary and to honor their daughter Claire. They host listening sessions in their local NICU, and provide an online community and financial support for current NICU families.

Graham’s Foundation is another organization founded by parents of twins. After the loss of their son Graham, and seeing their daughter Reece through her time in the NICU, Jennifer and Nick Hall started Graham’s Foundation to offer support to other NICU families, including bereavement support and care packages.

Hand to Hold is another preemie parent support organization that offers some wonderful resources to families who have lost a child. They provide peer-to-peer mentors and online resources to help parents through this difficult time.

Preemie Prints and Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep are two nonprofit organizations that arrange for professional photographers to create portraits for families. Photographs can serve as treasured objects of remembrance for families as they grieve, and are an important way to honor a beloved child. Families are offered this compassionate service at no charge.

The Alicia Renee Foundation provides financial assistance to families who cannot afford the costs of burial or cremation for their baby. It was started by a mother of a stillborn baby who recognized the additional pain families suffer when they have difficulty managing the cost of their child’s burial. They offer a compassionate, valuable service to families in need.

These are just a few of the national organizations founded by parents for parents. It is amazing to see these special individuals use their experiences to create communities of support for other families experiencing the loss of a baby. If you or someone you love has lost a baby and are looking for answers, or an understanding person to talk to, we encourage you to reach out to these organizations.

With love,

All of us at Jacqui’s Preemie Pride