Did you know that over 450,000 babies are born premature in the United States every year? And 15,000,000 worldwide. Because of their early arrivals preemies are more susceptible to a myriad health issues including apnea, PDA (Patent Ductus Arteriosis ) and RDS (Respiratory Distress Syndrome ). But technology and science continue to evolve. In fact, a preemie born today has a much greater chance at survival compared to only 10 years ago.  Keep checking back for more factoids.

Welcome to the Little Bear Foundation, Inc

The "Little Bear" talks mission and purpose



Conceptualized in early 2006, The Little Bear Foundation, Inc. was created for the primary purpose of supporting families while their preemie babies fought to survive in the NICU. The inspiration comes from our son who spent 74 days in the NICU fighting before finally coming home in January of 2004. Today, he's a thriving 14 year old - a relative success story but if not for the thoughts, words and prayers from family, friends and sometimes strangers, we don't know how we could have endured.

His story is a relative success and we recognize that all stories don't end this way. Nonetheless, the NICU experience has forever changed us.  The love and support we received during those 74 days cannot be equally paid back, so Little Bear gives us the opportunity to pay some of that forward.

We provide direct support of various types to families who have children currently in the NICU and who are pregnant again after having a preemie.  Little Bear support is primarily emotional and social. We want parents to know that they are not alone and that people are there who care enough about their NICU experience to offer that emotional and social support.

We do not provide medical advice.  We are a collection of parents and volunteers who have personal experience in the NICU.  Any advice provided is based on that experience.  Medical issues should be handled by qualified medical professionals who are intimately and specifically involved with those preemies.The Little Bear Foundation, Inc does not put resources toward finding a cure for prematurity – there are other reputable organizations, such as the March of Dimes, doing fantastic work in that area.  But, until a cure is found, and there are no more preemies born into existence, Little Bear recognizes that there will be families that may not know what or who to turn to while going through their NICU experience.  This is the gap we seek to fill.

Additionally, our goal is to provide more far reaching support through organized campaigns and initiatives including Every Baby Rides! - our push to get every child in a quality car seat upon leaving the NICU, providing Peer-to-Peer emotional support through our network of NICU graduates and providing NICU survival kits for parents during those first few hours in the NICU.  We don't want to stop there. In fact, as awareness about prematurity continues to rise, and while the Little Bear message continues to ring out, new and great ideas come in all of the time.  More details on our campaigns and initiatives can be found on our campaigns page. Please keep checking back, make a donation or better yet Contact Us to see how you can get involved!

We have a newsletter that is distributed on a regular basis. To receive the newsletter please register with us using the log in form to the right. We will review the request and send you log in credentials to the email address you've provided. Once logged in, you will have the ability to not only comment on stories but you'll be able to include your own. We want to encourage your input as sharing your story not only helps the person receiving the message, buts helps you as well!

Thank you for visiting The Little Bear Foundation!

See "Carter's Day of Thanks" on NBC5 Chicago. Vist News for more details.