Your Baby’s NICU Stay


As soon as your baby’s condition allows, we encourage skin-to-skin contact between you and your baby. This type of bonding, called Kangaroo Care, is achieved when a mother (or father) holds a diapered baby in an upright position on their bare chest, and covers the baby with a shirt or blanket. This simple technique enhances the physical and emotional connection between you and your baby. Some parents tell us Kangaroo Care makes them feel closer and more relaxed in caring for their baby. It may even increase a mother’s milk supply and improve a baby’s weight gain. As soon as your baby is stable enough we will encourage you to kangaroo.


We strongly encourage mothers to breastfeed their infants. Breastfeeding is an opportunity to bond with your baby and offers many nutritional benefits to the infant. If your baby is ill or very small, she will not be able to nurse and may not be fed at all. In those circumstances, we recommend that you pump, freeze, and save your breast milk until your baby becomes stronger. We believe strongly in helping mothers achieve their breastfeeding and lactation goals. The NICU nurses will help you with breastfeeding and will advise you about electric pumps, milk storage and usage. Our lactation consultant or feeding specialists will be available to assist


After birth, your baby will probably sleep most of the time. In fact, most newborns sleep almost twenty hours a day. As your baby’s health improves and they spend more time awake, we encourage you to interact with them more and more. The nurses will help you handle your baby and learn to recognize their limits. As you get to know your baby, you will become familiar with their sleep patterns and preferences. With time, the staff will rely on you to tell us about your baby’s daily progress.

In the NICU there is a lot of activity. The NICU staff uses monitors to track your baby’s vital signs (e.g. heart rate, temperature, breathing rate and blood pressure). Infant monitors are very sensitive and detect even subtle changes in your baby’s condition. Sometimes monitors will alarm when nothing is really wrong with your baby’s condition (“false alarms”). To ensure that your baby’s condition stays “on track,” your baby will have various tests, like blood and urine tests, X-rays, and ultrasounds. The NICU staff will talk with you about the monitors, tubes, tests, and machines. Our goal is make you comfortable in the NICU.


Rounds in the NICU take place at your baby’s bedside; it’s the time of the day when your baby’s entire care team gathers at your baby’s bedside to discuss his or her medical plan for the day. You are invited to attend daily rounds for your baby. If you choose to do so, you will meet with the attending neonatologist, neonatal advance practitioner, respiratory therapist, nutritionist, pharmacist, and residents and medical students. If you have questions about your baby’s care, sometimes they may be answered during rounds. NICU rounds usually occur between 8 am – 12 pm every day. You can let your baby’s nurse know if you would like to attend rounds. The nurse will attend rounds with you

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