Every parent wants to bring their bundle of joy home as soon as poosible. No one wishes to be away from the new comer who has changed the life of everyone around. But the news of your new born being recommended to be admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) can be frightening. This could be because of an infection or an illness.
At first sight a NICU may be look like a place out of this world, but understanding the functioning of a NICU can help to decrease your apprehensions and let you help your baby better.
About NICU- Where your baby is most important
Once the decision of sending your baby in intensive care is taken, you mind is filled with a lot of questions – How will the place be? Who will care for my baby? What will be the routine practices, will they hurt my baby? What kind of babies will be kept in NICU?
NICU is an intensive care unit created for sick babies who need specialised care. Some units call it a Special Care Nursery. Each unit has its own admission criteria to admit babies in NICU but some common criteria are:
Babies with rapid or abnormal breathing
Babies with signs and symptoms of infection
Any kind of birth defects
Babies requiring surgical procedures
Who will take care of my baby?
A NICU is a well organised medical unit that has care responsibilities well detailed. Majority of the NICU facilities follow international standards of care. But the people most responsible for your baby’s care are the Neonatologist and the Neonatal Nurses. You may interact with them on a daily basis to know about your baby’s condition. They shall open and clear to you and offer reassurances whenever necessary.
A Neonatologist is a doctor who specialises in newborn intensive care. He is the head of the medical team comprising of fellow neonatologists and medical residents.
The nurses you may come across are In charge of the unit’s clinical functioning and infection control . Each baby is assigned a primary nurse – the one who is responsible for your baby. You may need to interact with respiratory therapists, lactation consultants and occupational therapists. The lactation consultants will guide you from time to time regarding the feeding issues even post NICU stay of your baby.
If your baby is admitted in the NICU follow the given below points:
Understand your baby’s condition by discussing with your baby’s doctor
If the situation is a bit complicated remain calm and think – remember the new born is depending on you.
Trust your doctor. If he is asking you to wait, it is best that you take time and truct his judgement.
Avoid shifting the baby unless it is recommended by the treating doctor.
Give support to your partner or your spouse. It is important that you are there for each other in these testing times.
Think positive – be positive and aim for the best.