Local NICU partnership sees huge success in parent education - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Local NICU partnership sees huge success in parent education

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Samantha Dalley was 34 weeks pregnant with her son Colby when something felt horribly wrong.

Dalley says, “I was having a lot of pain in my abdomen. So I went to my doctor and that’s when they diagnosed me with severe HELLP.”

Dalley tells us HELLP is a disorder that affects only 8% of women.  With severe cramping and pain, Dalley feared for her and her child’s life.  One of the only ways to cure and save a mother suffering from HELLP is to remove the fetus from the mother’s uterus.

Dalley tells us, “Basically, my body was shutting down to being pregnant, and um the only way to save you is to take the baby away.  So, we almost passed away.”

Luckily, Dalley was able to recover and gave birth to Colby.  However, Colby was 6 weeks premature.  Dalley was supported in the NICU by a special program run through Hope Family Ministries and Kalispell Regional Medical Center.  Debbie Otto, Program Director tells us the program uses positive incentives and credit to educate families on various things such as parenting, relationships, and pregnancy.

Dalley tells us this program helped her family through a difficult pregnancy and was there for her when she left the hospital with Colby.  The program gave her something positive to look forward to and gave her hope.

Not only does this program help moms with premature babies like Samantha, but the program addresses a much larger epidemic in Montana, babies that are born with a serious drug addiction.  Babies are born dependent on narcotics after their mothers use narcotics during pregnancy.  This unique program has reduced the rate of foster placements for drug-affected babies by 70 percent.

Otto explains how this program works.  “Rather than sitting and playing Candy Crush on your phone all day or looking at Facebook while you're waiting to feed your baby the next time in the NICU you can do a brochure and earn some baby bucks and with those baby bucks they're able to shop in our boutique.”

Parents can pick out gently used baby clothes as well as clothing for themselves in the boutique at Hope Family Ministry.

Right now this is the only program of its kind in Montana and with its success, Kalispell Regional Medical Center hopes other hospitals in Montana will also adopt the program.

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