CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Two best friends are starting a new nonprofit group to support new parents.
It’s called The Nest Postpartum, and it will provide resources like food, transportation and lodging to NICU families at Carle.
Bringing a baby into the world comes with a lot of joy, but for some moms and dads, it can also come with fear and concern.
Paige Raab and Jessia Wolff bonded over the experience of having to spend a lot of time in Carle’s NICU. That lead them to give birth to The Nest to help families going through the exact same thing.
“It’s very challenging to start your parenting experience in that highly medical setting,” says Raab, a pediatric physical therapist. “Just being there are not being able to scoop your baby up to hold them, bond them, and feed them.”
Her sons are a couple years apart, but both of them went through traumatic births that put them into NICU stays.
Wolff, on the other hand, was pregnant with twin girls in 2018.
They were born prematurely. One stillborn, and the surviving daughter having to spend the next eight months in the NICU.
“[She has] a tracheostomy [and] a G-tube. She was ventilator-dependent until recently,” explains Wolff.
Raab and wolff say the NICU services save lives, but they noticed something.
“I realized that’s a gigantic hole within the services provided in the NICU,” says Wolff.
From paying for a hotel, worrying about getting a meal on the table for the rest of the family at home, and commuting to a hospital constantly, they say it’s financially and emotionally draining.
The Nest Postpartum will help with all of that, no price tag attached.
The team will consist of care coordinators. They’ll be women with backgrounds in health care and moms who know what a NICU stay is all about and can guide you through the process.
“If we can take that burden…that little piece of the NICU stay off their plate, that’s our mission,” says Wolff.
The fundraising launch has begun for The Nest Postpartum. The goal is $40,000.
The nonprofit will focus on families in Carle’s NICU as they build over the summer, but they hope to expand to other hospitals in the fall.