Study shows the impact of peer support programs like Miracle Babies' NurtureProgram for vulnerable families


Having a baby born premature or sick can have lifelong impacts on the entire family unit, with parents at increased risk of post-natal depression, anxiety and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

Through an independent study conducted by the Impact Institute in 2021, the benefits of peer support programs, just like the Miracle Babies Foundation NurtureProgram were evident, further solidifying the need for programs like this within hospitals and within the community for vulnerable groups.

‘Peers are trusted because they have “walked in their shoes” and are positioned well to share information, with ‘judicious timing’, however negative it may be.’ - Hunt 2019 SR

Miracle Babies’ trained support team are parents who each have been through the experience of having a baby born premature or sick, providing hope, reassurance and true understanding to support families within the NICU and beyond.

Findings from the study showed that Miracle Babies’ Support Programs:

  • Increased parental engagement within the NICU
  • Improved parental mental health and reduced parental stress
  • Improved parental/infant attachment and bonding
  • Improved social connection
  • Improved perceived social support for parents/families
  • Empowered parents to make informed health choices
  • Improved breastfeeding success

“Not being able to have family members visit myself and my husband has been tough. We never thought our babies would come early and need this care and it has been draining on our own mental health not being able to have our families support us during this time.” – Mum, Wendy

Every year in Australia, 48,000 babies are born premature or sick and sadly, up to 1,000 of these babies will lose their fight for life. Babies can go on to face lifelong challenges including disabilities, developmental delays and behavioural challenges. It is crucial that parents have the right support as research proves that children of parents with poor emotional health are less likely to thrive.

Faced with a new world and reduced access to families within hospitals, the 2020/2021 Financial Year saw many challenges. However, despite this;

1 in 4 families were supported nationally by Miracle Babies through services and resources.

Despite many face-to-face services suspended due to restrictions in hospitals, Miracle Babies was able to adapt to the quickly changing world, delivering new, online support services (NurtureOnline), in addition to the NurtureLine.

Vital resources also continued to be distributed to hospitals across Australia.

“Having spent three months in hospital in Melbourne, returning home with the twins was bittersweet.  I felt so isolated and was longing for a group of people with whom I could relate to. Families that understand what we’ve been through, how emotional the journey is, and just how fragile our children are. Miracle Babies provided a sense of belonging for those families that have had similar experiences and gives us the support we need to cope with ongoing issues.”- Mum, Tamara

We would like to reassure our families that Miracle Babies is here to continue to provide vital support at this challenging time. If you or somebody close to you is in need of support, please reach out to our NurtureLine (24 Hour Family Support Line).

Would you like to help?

It costs $143 to provide full support to one family throughout their hospital journey. Help us reach more families with vital, emotional support and resources during their NICU or Special Care stay with a premature or critically ill newborn.

As they are discharged home, support continues for years beyond. Your donation of $715 will also provide ongoing support for their first year home with their baby.

Make a one-off donation or join our Mission for Miracles program by becoming a regular giver. Just $5 each week will make a huge difference.

Join our Mission