Baby in the NICU
Hopeful Beginnings can help you if your baby is in the NICU at the hospital after birth. For those of you who don’t know, the NICU is the neonatal intensive care for babies who are ill that have just been born. Hopeful Beginnings is very helpful for mothers that have their babies in the NICU. This is a very uncertain time, along with some anxiety going on. Who wouldn’t be? We can have a social worker see you for an assessment and then initiate counseling. We are happy to see you, counsel you, and advise you for some strategies to cope with your baby in critical care and ultimately transition to home. It is not necessary to come into our offices for counseling, but telehealth services are available if it is more convenient for you.
Getting home after a stay in the NICU is also anxiety provoking in that there is a fear that you will do something wrong that can hurt the baby. That is why the nurses promote visiting and being with your baby every day in the unit. You need to get used to your baby just as much as your baby needs your touch and support and that you are there.
In terms of what do you do when your baby is in the NICU. You will have special name bands that allow you to see your baby. The nurse and social worker will give you instructions on how to enter this specialized area. You will need to wash your hands for a certain number of minutes, and you will wear a gown, mask, and maybe gloves to ensure that your outfit has no bacteria on it. Babies in the NICU usually do not have a mature immune system, so we want to protect them at all costs. However, they do need to be held, touched, spoken to softly, and rocked, if they are strong enough. This is the time where bonding begins. The ideal situation is for Mom and Dad to visit and stay for as long as they are able
The nurses will guide you on the length of time to be there and the visiting hours. The baby will recognize your voice, Mom. And if Dad has been talking with the baby when Mom was still pregnant, the baby will remember his voice, as well. It is important to remember that the nurses are busy in the NICU and your baby is not the only baby they are caring for. Your baby needs to be with you so that the bonding occurs. Siblings may visit but they must not be sick, have a fever, or runny nose. You must also bring their immunization record for them to enter.
Hopeful Beginnings is there for you. Please call 847-870-8181
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