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Ways to Participate in Your Baby’s Care in the NICU

December 1, 2017

Parenting your baby when they have been admitted to our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) can be a challenge for most parents. Everyday can pose to be an emotional and physical roller coaster, as you recover from childbirth yourself and already feel an intense bond with your baby.

It can be very frustrating to not be able to hold your baby right after his/her birth or, in many cases, leave your baby in the NICU after you are discharged from your childbirth hospital stay. The good news is that at Orange Regional Medical Center, we encourage all our parents to play an active role in your NICU baby’s care at our facilities, as his or her condition permits.

We believe our parents play very important role in helping their infants through their time spent in the NICU. Learn tips for caring for your NICU baby and what to expect during his/her stay.

Visiting and caring for your NICU baby

The best way that you can participate in your NICU baby’s care during their stay after childbirth is, simply, to visit as much possible. This, sometimes, is easier said than done as you may not live close to Orange Regional Medical Center in Middletown, NY. Possibly you have other children at home that need caring for as well, or a wide array of other responsibilities and constraints. Do not worry, while you are away, please be assured that our team of neonatal specialists have years of experience in caring for and treating the tiniest of patients.

When you are able to visit your NICU baby, there are many things that you can do with your baby as he/she is in the NICU. Holding, touching, feeding, diapering, bathing, taking temperature, etc., are all aspects of caring for your baby that your nurse will teach you, step-step, as you and your baby are ready.

We encourage you to coordinate your visits around feeding times, bath time, etc., and ask that you collaborate with your nurse on when you can visit to participate in these activities. Feel free to also take pictures of your baby. Flash cameras are allowed and will not harm your baby.

Ask us questions, we’re here to help

There may be a lot going on and medical terms being used that you may not understand, like referring to your baby’s weight in grams rather than pounds. We encourage you to ask questions about your baby. Do not hesitate to discuss any concerns with the nurse or doctor. They will make every effort to talk with you when you visit your baby. If they are not able to speak to you during your visit, you will always be able to call and speak with them at a later date.

Your NICU baby’s safety is our priority

We require that parents and siblings, as well as, all visitors wash their hands for one full minute before entering the unit. Hand washing protects your baby from infection. Premature babies and full-term infants who are sick can catch infections very easily.

Please inform your baby’s nurse if you have:

  • A cold
  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Cold sores
  • Fever
  • Pink eye
  • Chicken pox

Please also inform your baby’s nurse if you are experiencing any other symptoms that could be considered contagious or if you think you were exposed to a contagious illness. You can speak to the nurse or doctor and decide if it is safe for you to spend time with your baby. If you are ill, check with the nurse or doctor about when you may resume parenting or visiting.

You may be asked to leave the unit for a few minutes in case of an emergency or if a special procedure must be performed. Please do not be concerned with this measure. We need to allow ample space for our specialists to tend to your baby or another baby in the unit as necessary.

Please respect the privacy of the other infants and their families

When you are in the unit visiting and caring for your NICU baby, please respect the privacy of other infants and their families by staying near your baby’s bedside.

In order to maintain the privacy of all the infants and their families, please limit your questions only to matters concerning your baby. We can give information only to parents. Grandparents, other relatives and friends will be directed to the infant’s parents for information concerning your baby.

Discharging your NICU baby from the hopsital

In preparation for your baby’s discharge, you will have the option of rooming-in with the baby to facilitate the transition to the home environment. Appropriate accommodations will be made.

We also encourage you to learn rescue skills of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Classes are taught at the bedside or at one of the scheduled classes. Please arrange with your baby’s nurse to learn CPR or to schedule your session.

Community member learning CPR at Orange Regional Medical Center's Basic Life Support training class.

Sign up for our CPR Classes

New parents and parents with young children find themselves wishing they could be better prepared should they be faced with an emergency situation with their children and loved ones. Take control and be prepared. Sign up for our CPR / Basic Life Support Training Course. View upcoming dates and times and sign up today.

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Categories: Maternity, NICU, Support & RecoveryTags

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