Navigating the NICU
Hand to Hold, a national NICU family support organization, produced this video specifically for siblings who have a brother or sister in the neonatal intensive care unit. The tour is led by a NICU graduate who explains what a NICU is, about the care babies receive there, the importance of handwashing and what a big brother or sister can do to show their love for their sibling even if they can't visit them in the hospital NICU. Visit www.handtohold.org to learn more.
You'll encounter lots of wires, tubes, and high-tech machines in the NICU. Find out what they do and how they help your baby.
Dr. Mitchell Goldstein addresses whether all NICUs are capable of providing the same level of treatment a baby might need.
These suggestions are tips to help you be proactive for meetings with your baby's healthcare team, so you will feel somewhat more "in control" of your NICU experience. You have every right to be partners in the care of your baby, and you are the best advocate your child has.
A shorter NICU stay information sheet has basic information for families whose baby will be in the NICU for less than 14 days.
When your baby needs intensive care is a brief introduction to the NICU and why babies may need to stay there.
If a dad, partner or family member gets to the NICU first is a resource with information for family members who get to the NICU first.
Answers to common questions is a resource with answers to commons questions NICU families may have when their baby is in the NICU.
Your baby's stay in the NICU is a resource with information about how families can be involved in their baby's care.
Weight chart is a resource with a grams to pounds conversion chart for pounds and half pounds, from 1lb up to 12lbs.
Words to know is a resource with the definitions of the pink words used in each of the Chapter of the NICU Journey booklet documents.
Equipment in the NICU is a resource with descriptions of equipment commonly found in or used with babies in the NICU.
Dr. Kara Calkins discusses acceptable visitation practices by friends and family of the baby in the NICU.
Having a baby in the NICU is a difficult time in any parent's life. When you have other young children at home, challenges are multiplied. They need your time and attention, too. One of the most valuable things we can offer our children in times of crisis is clear, consistent information. This resource provides some of the most common questions your child may have and suggestions on how to answer.
The holiday season is especially tough for families with premature babies. Whether they are in the NICU or at home, life is just so much more complex because there are the baby's special health needs to consider. Here are some tips for families with preemies to help make the holiday season a little brighter.
Maybe you have been inside the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for a visit or perhaps you have visited me at home during the times I was there. As fascinating as a "tiny baby" may seem, there are things I want you to know that could help me greatly as I focus on the journey through the NICU and, hopefully, to come home with my baby.
Preemie Parent Alliance (PPA) is a network of organizations offering support to families of premature infants.
Dads and the NICU: Your special role information sheet offers information and tips on how dads can cope during NICU stay.
Especially for Mom
For moms: Your postpartum checkup information encourages moms to go to their postpartum check-up, describes what happens at the postpartum check-up and provides information about how the postpartum check-up helps moms reduce their risk for premature birth in their next pregnancy.
For moms: How to take care of yourself is a resource for moms who have had a baby in the NICU. It includes information about what they can do for themselves to stay healthy, where to go to for help from others, and talking to their doctor before another pregnancy.
Coping & Emotions
Being a NICU mom or dad can be an emotional rollercoaster. Learn about resources and strategies to help you cope.
When your baby's birth is followed by a stay in the neonatal intensive care unit, it can have a very real and lasting impact on your mental health. Parents with babies in the intensive care unit are more at risk of depression and anxiety disorders. Learn how to lessen your chances of suffering from anxiety, depression or even post-traumatic stress disorder, recognize the signs that may mean you should seek help and know how to advocate for your health throughout your NICU experience.
A mom that has been through the NICU with two children shares all she has learned about taking charge of her baby's health.
A mom speaks candidly about the emotional rollercoaster of the NICU and the importance of taking care of yourself.
This program helps new moms cope with the uncertainty that can come with having a preemie. "When Baby Arrives Early" shows how to care for a premature infant while in the hospital and during those first few days at home. Healthcare professionals and Moms openly discuss how they face the uncertainty.
There is nothing that prepares a new parent for the premature birth of their baby. Coping with change is difficult under the best of circumstances, but when uncertainty surrounds the health and well being of your baby it can be overwhelming. There are some things you can do while making this difficult transition that will assist you in coping with the unexpected journey through the NICU.
The emotional, physical, financial and psychological impact of a NICU stay often blindsides families. Hand to Hold is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing the information, resources and support parents need during and after a NICU stay to ensure the best outcome for the baby and the entire family unit.
For many families, having a baby is a happy yet stressful time. Parents who have experienced the birth of a premature baby may experience more than average stress levels, including anxiety disorders, as well as higher incidences of postpartum depression (PPD) or postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder (PPTSD). The purpose of this brochure is to provide information on these mental health issues so that they can be more easily diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.
For single parents is a resource with supportive information for single parents with a baby in the NICU.
For adoptive families is a resource with supportive information for adoptive families with a baby in the NICU.
Coping with stress is a resource with ways for families to cope with stress while their baby is in the NICU.
Everyone grieves differently. Surround yourself with those who you are comfortable being around and make all the memories you can with your child. Find the support that works for you. When you find laughter and joy again, it will be sweeter than it ever was before. Embrace it, you deserve it.