New partnership seeks to reduce perinatal mood disorders, focus on the use of breastmilk, and provide essential guidance for families with newborns in the NICU
BOSTON (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) MARCH 03, 2021
Ovia Health, the most trusted family health digital platform, today announced a new strategic partnership with March of Dimes, the nation’s leader in the fight for the health of all moms and babies, to provide evidence-based education and support for families with babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and promote healthier outcomes for parents and babies.
Parents with children in the NICU are under immeasurable stress, often alone and without peer support. Through new resources, coaching, and support in the Ovia Parenting solution, Ovia and March of Dimes are seeking to provide NICU parents with guidance to reduce perinatal mood disorders and improve outcomes.
Nearly 9% of newborns spend time in the NICU after birth, and the experience can be traumatic for parents. Activities like feeding and bonding are more emotionally and logistically challenging as parents worry about the health of their babies, make difficult care decisions, and navigate a complex healthcare system. NICU parents experience depression and PTSD at higher rates than average, with 20-30% having a mental health diagnosis in the first year of their baby’s life (compared to a national postpartum depression rate of 11.5%).
Preterm birth, meanwhile, presents challenges to breastfeeding, including lower maternal milk supply, the inability of some babies to directly breastfeed, and challenges with keeping a supply of expressed milk while mothers are separated from infants in the NICU. Human donor milk, increasingly seen as a superior alternative to formula, is available, but awareness and access are often limited.
Ovia’s enhanced support for families in the NICU, in partnership with March of Dimes, offers March of Dimes’ educational resources specifically tailored to the NICU parenting journey, support for pumping and providing mother’s own milk, and help finding and accessing donor milk – all through Ovia’s existing Parenting solution.
“Having an infant in the NICU is an incredibly challenging experience for parents,” said March of Dimes Sr. Director of NICU Family Support, Heather Reimer. “It’s a crossroads – a time of risk not only for infants, but for parents as well. As we celebrate the 20 year anniversary of our NICU Family Support® program, we’re so happy to be working with Ovia, already a proven support platform for NICU parents, now with March of Dimes’ educational content to provide parents with guidance and improve outcomes for entire families.”
The March of Dimes partnership and increased support for NICU families builds upon Ovia’s already robust foundation of materials and assistance for parents, both in the NICU and outside. Ovia’s programming is instrumental in providing guidance and support that not only improves healthcare outcomes for families, but results in concrete cost savings for self-insured employers and health plans. For example:
- An increase in breastfeeding rates is estimated to save about $500 per breastfed infant. This cost avoidance is specifically derived from breastfeeding reducing the likelihood of common infantile illnesses in the first three months of life, as compared to formula-fed infants.
- Ovia members are 31% more likely to be treated for a perinatal mental health condition and Ovia identifies 60% more women at risk than the CDC estimates. This is done with improved and expanded screening tools and personalized navigation to care, resulting in a cost avoidance of $2,500 per case identified.
“We are so incredibly pleased to be working with March of Dimes, the nation’s leading nonprofit helping families of infants born too soon or too sick, on this important issue,” said Ovia Health Co-founder and Chief Product Officer Gina Nebesar. “We are working together to put the most vulnerable parents and children in the best hands possible, with the support they need at every stage of their journey – including the most challenging ones.”
About Ovia Health
Since 2012, Ovia Health has helped more than 15 million people successfully navigate their parenthood journeys and is on a mission to make a happy, healthy family possible for everyone. Ovia is the only family health solution clinically proven to effectively identify and intervene with high-risk conditions. The company’s 50+ clinical programs, including predictive coaching and personalized care plans, help prevent unnecessary healthcare costs, improve health outcomes, and foster a family-friendly workplace that increases retention and return-to-work. For more information, visit OviaHealth.com.
About March of Dimes
March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we empower every mom and every family. For more information, visit MarchofDimes.org.
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