Supportive Services in the NICU

March of Dimes NICU Family Support Program

The March of Dimes Family Support Program is a comprehensive set of services, developed and launched to provide information and comfort to families during the NICU hospitalization of their newborn and during the transition home. NICU families receive information and materials about the NICU experience and have access to services and activities that provide support within the NICU setting. Our goal is to improve families' experience through these established set of resources designed to advance communication, collaboration and strengthen the partnership between families, Nebraska Medicine, and the March of Dimes.

Music Therapy

Music Therapy is an evidence based program that uses music-based interventions to address individualized therapeutic goals. Talk to your NICU team to see if your infant would benefit from Music Therapy.


  • Decreased Anxiety and Stress
  • Enhances Neurological Development
  • Promotes Bonding
  • Improves Feeding Behaviors
  • Increased Oxygen Saturation
  • Reduced Length of Hospital Stay

Physical and Occupational Therapy

The Munroe Meyer Institute Occupational (OT) and Physical (PT) Therapists who serve the NICU specialize in the development of motor and sensory function in newborns and prematurely born infants. Board Certified Specialists in Pediatric therapies, these professionals support the medical team in developing a care plan for your baby’s unique developmental needs. Occupational therapy addresses features of early hand/arm movement that impact development of eye/hand coordination. Physical therapy assesses early posture, strength and movement abilities as these relate to the development of functional motor skills like head control and rolling. OT/PT may be consulted to address specific motor concerns for your baby or to perform baseline motor assessment for infants who are born before 32 weeks gestation. The ultimate goal of OT/PT consultation is to empower families with the knowledge and skills needed to guide early motor development of their babies. Instructing caregivers in proper positioning, specific developmental motor or play activities, and in use of splints or special equipment is provided prior to and after discharge as needed.

Speech-Language Pathology

The speech-language pathologists (SLP) who serve infants in the NICU specialize in the feeding and swallowing skills in newborns and prematurely born infants. SLPs work with the family and medical team to develop a care plan that supports each baby’s unique developmental needs. SLPs assess how infants use the muscles of the mouth and throat to suck and swallow and determine their ability to coordinate this with breathing. They will conduct an instrumental assessment of the swallow via x-ray or fiber optic camera if needed. SLPs also utilize techniques and provide education on safe and effective eating through positioning, supports, and/or pacing. Infants who need support with coordination of sucking, swallowing, and breathing may benefit from NTrainer therapy, an innovative tool that provides systematic pulses through a pacifier to teach the infant the appropriate pattern. The ultimate goal is to help the infant eat orally and empower families with the knowledge and skills needed to guide future feeding and swallowing development of their babies.

Your Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Team

A Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP) is a master’s or doctorally prepared advanced practice nurse who provides advanced nursing care to neonates up to two years of age. NNPs work collaboratively with other health team members to provide holistic health care that includes resuscitation, stabilization, health promotion, disease prevention, and diagnosis and management of acute and chronic illnesses.

Our NNP team is staffed to provide care 24/7 with 2 NNPs in the NICU. In addition to caring for infants and families in the NICU, they attend all high-risk deliveries, provide newborn and maternal prenatal consults, and many NNPs are instructors in neonatal resuscitation classes and the STABLE Program. The team is also involved with clinical research, Vermont Oxford, quality projects, education, and patient updates to internal and external providers.

While 90 percent of newborn deliveries are beautiful and uncomplicated, there are still some babies that need special assistance at delivery. The Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) was created by the American Academy of Pediatrics in collaboration with American Heart Association to provide consistent, quality care specific to the needs of a newborn baby at the time of birth. NRP has been evolving and educating neonatal caregivers around the world since the 1980s.

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