The world outside the NICU continues and parents often struggle because their friends and family do not understand the intricacies and dynamics of having and baby in the NICU. As a result, parents feel isolated, alone and show increased signs of depression and anxiety. The purpose of Miracle Hour is to mobilize internal strengths, promote hopefulness and enhance the parents’ coping abilities to benefit NICU patients. The group provides another means of expression combined with a healing component. Facilitators provide a safe environment for participants to verbalize their stories and share their distress.
Crafting is a “normal” activity without the negative stigma that a “support group” may carry, minimizing the reluctance to attend this supportive group. Peer to peer support is vital to help decrease stress, normalize experience and create comradery but is often not sought out in NICU settings.
Parents often don’t realize they are in a therapeutic group because they are in a way distracted by the art or scrapbooking that they are creating. They also are creating an object that becomes part of their baby’s story and the documenting of the NICU process through art is similar to the therapeutic value of journal writing or storytelling.
Miracle Babies sponsors meals and crafting activities within several local hospitals on a monthly basis. Miracle Hours are facilitated by an experienced Miracle Baby staff member and hospital social worker monthly at Tri-City Medical Center, UCSD, Sharp Mary Birch Rady’s Children’s Hospital and UCI Medical Center.