NICUs are staffed by physicians (neonatologists), nurse practitioners, nurses and respiratory therapists who are specially trained to care for premature and critically-ill newborns. These healthcare professionals work around the clock to provide for your infant’s special needs. Equipment and procedures specifically designed for babies help the team treat sick newborns until they are healthy enough to go home.
NICUs are ideal places to take care of newborns who:
- Are premature (born at least 3 weeks earlier than the due date)
- Experience complications during birth
- Have birth defects
- Suffer from a contagious illness or drug-related problem
The birth of a sick infant usually is an unexpected crisis, creating unique stress on the family. Feelings of grief are common as the happy expectation of a new and healthy baby turns to disappointment and anxiety. Feelings of anger or guilt may also arise, and parents often feel helpless as the care of their infant is turned over to others. All of these emotions are normal, and we hope that you will be able to share them with us. Often, simply talking about how you feel is helpful.
We also encourage you to become involved in your infant’s care and ask questions. After all, you are the most important people in your baby’s life. Above all, we hope you will find your experience to be one of honesty and hopefulness, understanding and acceptance.