Life-changing online support group for isolated families with a premature or sick baby launches in NSW

Helping parents and carers of premature or sick newborns find a place where they can share their experiences with other parents in a similar situation is vital to improving their well-being once out of hospital. However, for families in rural or isolated areas where access to support services is limited, feelings of loneliness and seclusion can become a real issue.

Miracle Babies Foundation already provide face-to-face NurtureGroups, which are free out of hospital play and support groups for families and carers who have experienced the birth of a premature or sick newborn. Health professionals such as a speech therapist, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, social worker and family support nurse attend NurtureGroups to provide information, assistance and advice on the children’s development.

In order to provide this sort of service to isolated families in need, Miracle Babies is excited to launch a new NurtureGroup Online service for rural and regional families with a premature or sick baby.  NutureGroups Online overcomes the barriers of rural living by delivering the service in an innovative, digital platform, accessible from anywhere with an internet connection.Thanks to the generous funding support from Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation we are launching the first online service for rural families in NSW Central West.

Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation Director, Jennifer Leslie said Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation understood that geographic and social isolation can be a major barrier to accessing health and well-being services.

“The Charitable Foundation has supported Miracle Babies’ NurtureProgram since 2016, supporting thousands of new families in regional NSW. This new digital solution to bring NurtureGroups to more regional and rural families aligns perfectly with our focus on projects that utilise current technology to deliver services and improve social connections for marginalised and isolated people in regional communities,” Jennifer said.

Kylie Pussell, CEO and Co-Founder of Miracle Babies Foundation, says, “We help families when they are at their most vulnerable. Through our programs and resources Miracle Babies help them navigate the very scary world of welcoming a premature or sick newborn into the world”.

“We are so grateful to Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation for supporting our NurtureGroup Online and empowering isolated families through the challenges of this life-changing journey.”


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[Images: Baby Oliver in hospital & Kacey-Lee Burling with her son Oliver]

The importance of having access to this sort of service is something mother Kacey-Lee Burling knows all too well. Kacey was living in Dubbo when, at 29 weeks pregnant, she needed to be rushed to Sydney with severe preeclampsia. Kacey needed an emergency c-section and her son Oliver spent three months in Westmead’s NICU. Now, back home with a seven-month-old, Kacey is excited to be taking part in the inaugural NurtureGroup Online.

“This NurtureGroup Online could not have come at a better time for me personally. I feel the isolation, the fear that comes from living in a remote and rural area,” says Kacey.

“Having a group out here, even an online one, where we can virtually gather together is invaluable. A place where people understand why some babies have two ages, an actual age and a corrected age. A place where people understand what it is like to be so far away from state-of-the-art facilities and specialists.”

Miracle Babies Foundation and Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation will launch the new service at a special event located at Bathurst Hospital this week.

We're so proud that this new online service will connect rural families together who are physically unable to attend a NurtureGroup, and provide the support, education and empowerment they need to improve their family’s overall health and well-being. If you or someone you know is interested in joining the NurtureGroup Online, please fill in the registration form HERE.


Miracle Babies Foundation

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