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Parent Buddy Program

Support for Parents with Premature Babies
Parents Helping Parents


parent buddy
Parents helping parents in the
Parent Buddy Program


Parents who have had a premature baby in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) are often interested in talking to another parent who has had a similar experience. 

We link our patients to a “Parent Buddy” who had a premature baby in the NICU some time ago. The Parent Buddy can offer supportive understanding, a sympathetic ear and can share her/his own experiences in getting through this time.

Recent research has shown that parents who have a buddy are more confident in their parenting in the NICU. Four months following their baby’s birth, they report being less anxious, less depressed and feel they have better social supports than mothers who did not have parent buddies.

Contact with the Parent Buddy will be mainly by phone, though the buddy may also arrange to meet you during your baby’s hospital stay. The Parent Buddy is available to you during your baby’s hospitalization and during the first few months at home.

Parents may also be matched with a buddy who shares their language and culture. The Parent Buddy program represents over 20 different languages and cultures.

Parents who have had “buddies” have made the following comments:

“Having someone confirm that the way I was feeling was a normal response to an abnormal situation i.e. grief, guilt, sadness.”

“She gave me so much hope that this roller coaster ride would come to a happy end.”

“She understood. We went through the same things.”

“It is great to have a person to talk to in your own language.”

Find a Buddy

If you would like to speak to a Parent Buddy please speak to your social worker or nurse. You can also call Kasia Pytlik, coordinator, Parent Buddy Program at 416-586-4800 ext. 5213.