Why are babies admitted to NICU?

Babies are admitted to the NICU for various reasons, primarily because they need specialized medical care. The common reasons include : 

  • Premature birth (born before 37 weeks of pregnancy)
  • Low birth weight
  • Difficulties during delivery
  • Respiratory distress or infections
  • Birth defects

The NICU is equipped with advanced technology and staffed by healthcare professionals specializing in neonatal care, ensuring that these vulnerable newborns receive the best possible treatment.

How long is a baby admitted in the NICU?

The time period for which a baby is admitted in the NICU can vary greatly depending on the baby’s condition and the level of care required. Some infants may stay for a few days, while others might need to stay for weeks or even months. Premature babies, or those with serious medical conditions, generally have longer stays. The medical team regularly evaluates each baby’s progress to determine when they are stable enough to go home.

Can I visit my baby in the NICU?

Yes, parents are usually encouraged to visit their baby in the NICU. However, NICU visitation policies can vary by hospital. These units have strict guidelines to protect the health and safety of the fragile infants, which might include limitations on visiting hours and the number of visitors. It’s important to check with the NICU staff about their specific policies. They also encourage parental involvement in the baby’s care, as it can be beneficial for both the baby and the parents.

Is there any follow-up care needed after leaving the NICU?

After a baby is discharged from the NICU, follow-up care is often required. This may include regular visits to a pediatrician, specialized care for ongoing health issues, developmental assessments, and possibly therapy services. The medical team in the NICU will provide guidance and a detailed care plan tailored to the baby’s specific needs.

How can I cope with the stress of having a baby in the NICU?

Having a baby in the NICU can be emotionally challenging. To cope with this stress, it’s important to seek support. This can come from family, friends, mental health professionals, or support groups for parents with babies in the NICU. Taking care of your own health is crucial; try to get enough rest, eat well, and take breaks when needed. 

Can I breastfeed my baby in the NICU?

Breastfeeding in the NICU is often encouraged as breast milk provides essential nutrients and antibodies that are especially beneficial for sick or premature babies. However, direct breastfeeding might not be possible immediately for all babies in the NICU. In such cases, mothers are usually encouraged to pump breast milk, which can then be fed to the baby through a feeding tube or bottle, as appropriate.