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5 Things to Know During a NICU Stay

It doesn’t matter if your trip to the NICU (the neonatal intensive care unit) was something you knew would happen after you gave birth or a complete surprise, having a baby in the NICU is beyond hard. At Dr. Noze Best, we make it our goal to set parents up for success so we want you to be as prepared as possible for your time spent there. 

Our very own founder knows what that experience is like, too. As a parent of a NICU baby and Pediatric ENT Surgeon who treats NICU babies regularly, Dr. Steve Goudy breaks down 5 of the most important things every parent should know if they find themselves in this situation. ⁠

doctor tips for preparing for a nicu stay

5 Things to Know During a NICU Stay

The Neonatal Intensive Care Units is a nursery within the hospital that provides your baby with around-the-clock care. Primarily, the NICU is where you find premature or sick babies. Within this special unit, health care providers who have received special training to work with babies, will care for your little one until they are strong enough to go home with you.

1. Doctors work in rotating shifts. 

You may be in a hospital where physicians are working very different shifts, possibly weekdays versus weekends. They are constantly moving between being on call and having ever-changing schedules. Take the opportunity to understand the routine and don’t be afraid to ask who you can expect to see. 

2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. 

There are a great deal of alarms and buzzers going off at all times whenever you are in the NICU or anywhere else in the hospital, and it can be a little bit overwhelming. The doctors and nurses that are working there completely understand and encourage you to ask questions. They all just want to help you and make your whole stay in the NICU as seamless and comfortable as possible. 

3. Be there as much as you can.

First things first: the doctors in the NICU are going to take care of your baby no matter what, providing them with around-the-clock care as if your sweet baby was their own. They are all also extremely understanding that you may have other children, a job, don’t live close to the hospital, or other things going on that may keep you from being there all the time. They get it. Generally, they recommend that you just be there as much as you can, whenever you can. This gives the doctors and nurses the opportunity to give you updates and share important information in person. 

5 things to know during a nicu stay

4. Bring breast milk if you can.

If you have access to breast milk or other types of supplemental feedings, it is recommended that you bring it. If not - don’t stress about it. There are nutritionists and pharmacists on staff able to make sure everything right in the NICU is available for your little one so that they thrive and grow. 

5. Understand that it’s a rollercoaster ride. 

There are a lot of moving pieces happening at once whenever you are in the NICU. As Dr. Goudy says, “it’s a roller coaster ride!” There is a chance that you can be ready to go home and then be told that you will have to stay a few days longer. Be prepared that things might change on a day to day basis, and that it can be difficult for even the doctors to predict what will happen.

Watch our latest reel as Dr. Goudy further explains his NICU tips!

 

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We hope that our tips help you prepare for an upcoming visit to the NICU or better navigate one you are currently in. As parents, it’s always best to prepare for the unexpected!

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