Making a Difference
One Premature Baby At a Time
The Gift of Life offers hope, encouragement, and support to the parents of premature babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Since 2015, more than…
Love Bears Given
Care Packages Sent
Preemie Hats Distributed
Did you know?
1 in 10 Babies in the World are Born Preterm
Even if your family isn’t a family we help, there’s a huge chance that someone you know was or has a premature baby.
Approximately 11.4% of all pregnancies result in a premature baby. This statistic remains almost the same across ethnicities, ranging from 8-13%. And 80% of premature births happen unexpectedly. Preemies are born in families of all socioeconomic statuses – it’s an issue that affects all communities.
The preemie community belongs to us all. The Gift of Life is here to champion the cause of any family where there’s a premature baby. We’re an organization by the parents of a preemie for all those who have a preemie in their lives that they love.
Some Common Causes of Premature Birth
- Cervical Problems
- Short time between pregnancies
- Multiple Pregnancy
- Poor Fetal Growth
- Fetal Distress
- Alcohol Consumption
- Drugs and Medications
- Placental Abruption
- Air Pollution
“The causes of preterm labor and premature birth are numerous, complex, and only partly understood. Medical, psychosocial, and biological factors may all play a role in preterm labor and birth.” – National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Ways Having a Premature Baby Impacts Families
The parents of a premature baby are more prone to depression, anxiety, and stress, even PTSD. These weigh heavier on them as the baby they hoped would be born healthy is now put at risk for long-term mental and phsycial disability.
As the March of Dimes reports, the cost of having a premature baby is $49,000 the first year. Depending on the baby’s health, the long-term cost can be several times greater. These are expenses most families could not forsee or budget for.
During and even after the NICU, preemies often need special care that goes beyond the demands of taking care of a full-term baby. Stress combined with lack of proper nutrition, sleep, and exercise makes the ordeal even harder on the parents’ health.
Having a premature baby can isolate parents. It can be a lonely time when your home has to stay so germ-free that people no longer want to visit, or when you can’t find a babysitter qualified enough to manage your baby’s special needs while you’re away.
The NICU can be an emotionally-charged place full of uncertainty for the moms and dads of any premature baby.
The Gift of Life’s volunteer team show these families that they’re not alone and that there are people who care. All of our preemie parent mentors are people who’ve been where they are, made it through, and decided to give back. But continuity and reach of our programs depend on caring individuals like you.
What We Do in the Preemie Community
- Preemie Parent Mentoring
- Case Advocacy
- Support Groups
- Community Awareness
- NICU Ambassadors
- Love Bears
- Knit Preemie Hats
- Discharge Care Packages
- Grief Support
- International Outreach
- Educational Materials
“When an individual takes positive action, that resonates through life.”
Updates from The Preemie Blog
Catch up with our latest news, stories, and insights:
Miracles of Life: When the Preemie You Love Turns 10
It’s funny how time flies. But in the moment when you’re in the NICU with your brand new preemie, it can seem to tick by so slowly. When you’re neck-deep in a situation, it can feel hopeless. Today as we celebrate the 10th birthday of our very own miracle, Kaleb Moore...
Preemie Parent Mentoring via Telehealth Now Available
Our technology through the years has been advancing to provide parents with mentors that can support them through the telephone and through field visits in the hospital while the baby is in the NICU. With the recent pandemic that has spread throughout the globe, more...
Supporting Families from a Distance
Who would have thought six months ago that we would be going through a pandemic that would limit or pretty much stop all our in-person family visits for support? Our NICU families are already going through a crisis with having a baby being born prematurely, but in...