The Empower Program™

EmpowerThe Empower Program™ is an early intervention, family-centered, multi-sensory, developmental care program for parents of babies born at less than 30 weeks gestation. Designed by both parents and health care professionals at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, The Empower Program™ provides families with the knowledge and skills needed to parent their premature baby in the Newborn ICU.

The ability for parents to learn and appropriately respond to their babies’ behaviors is often hindered by high degrees of parental stress and/or anxiety. During this time, a parent’s readiness to learn, ability to concentrate, retain information and cognitively process is often limited. Evidence supports that parents who quickly engage in the care of their babies in the Newborn ICU tend to be more sensitive to their babies’ cues and have better relationships with them in later years, which is a positive predictor for improved infant outcomes. Because of the altered mood states of many parents who deliver a premature baby, it is important to provide parents with information and education in a format that is repetitive and can be retained over time.

Therefore, The Empower Program™ uses multiple senses to aid in retention. Over the course of six weeks, and 3 separate parts, parents are given multiple opportunities to learn about their baby’s behaviors and appropriate parenting strategies though written word, pictures, video and hands-on training.

Part 1 is given within 2 to 4 days of the infant’s admission to the NICU. Education is specific to infant cues and physical characteristics and provision of breast milk.

Part 2 is offered 2 to 4 days after Part 1. Education is specific to nuzzling, skin-to-skin holding and reinforcement of Part 1.

Part 3 is a little more flexible and is dependent on the individual needs of the baby. Typically, Part 3 is given 4 weeks after Part 2 (approx. 5-6 weeks of age). Education is specific to infant cues (as age increases over time), PO readiness, infant massage and reinforcement of Parts 1 and 2.

The Empower Program™ consists of 5 components:

The Empower Program™ is consistent with The Joint Commission’s requirement for patient-centered care and was supported by a community grant from the March of Dimes. The Empower Program™ was nominated for the Magnet Prize in 2007.

The families and staff at St. Louis Children’s Hospital have embraced The Empower Program™ and we are confident your families and staff will too!

To order:

D 0904 The Empower Program™ Classroom License, includes:

1 Empower Master DVD for classroom use only
1 My Journey in the NICU notebook
1 CD of all written Empower materials
10 parent Empower DVDs (titled My Journey in the NICU)

D 0904 SL The Empower Program™ System License, includes:

1 Empower Master DVD for System use – may be shown on an unlimited number of screens or on closed-circuit television
1 My Journey in the NICU notebook
1 CD of all written Empower materials
10 parent Empower DVDs (titled My Journey in the NICU)

D 0912 B10 Box of 10 parent Empower DVDs (titled My Journey in the NICU)

Purchaser must purchase C 0904 or D 0904 SL before this part may be reordered

D 0933 My Journey in the NICU notebook – each

Purchaser must purchase C 0904 or D 0904 SL before this part may be reordered