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Transitioning from NICU: 3 Things Parents Should Know

No parent wants to hear that their newborn daughter or son has to spend time in the Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU); but it does happen, and it’s a lot more common than people think. Anemia, apnea, jaundice, Bradycardia and sepsis are just a few of the common reasons for newborns babies to spend time in NICU after birth. The full list is much longer.

What is The Neonatal intensive care unit?

Newborn babies who are in need of special or critical medical attention many times are moved to a special area of the medical facility called the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The NICU combines highly trained health practitioners and advanced technology to provide specialized care for the most fragile and precious patients.

NICUs may also have intermediate or continuing care areas for babies who are not in critical condition, but still need specialized medical care. If hospitals don’t have the staff for a NICU, most times these babies must be moved to another medical facility. This is not the optimal situation as babies who need intensive care usually do better if they are born in a hospital with a NICU than if they are transferred after birth. We suggest always checking prior to choosing your medical facility for your childs birth

Newborn babies that will require care in a NICU is not the norm, but it happens enough that all expecting parents should be aware of what it is and why it is important. Giving birth to a sick or premature baby can be quite unexpected for any parent. Unfamiliar sights, sounds, and equipment in the NICU can be overwhelming. This information is provided to help you understand some of the problems of sick and babies requiring special care.

Naturally, having a newborn baby in NICU can be a very stressful time for parents. Depending on the condition and diagnosis of the baby, various supports and continued treatments may be necessary even after NICU. Parents are often worried about this transition. How will the baby receive the care she needs? What if something goes wrong? Will our medical care cover the costs?

These are all important questions for parents to ask. There is a lot of misinformation out there with regard to the transition away from NICU. We can’t answer every one of those questions in a single blog post, but we can discuss 3 important things parents should know when making this transition.

1. The NICU is strict

At least it should be, in each and every case. During these early fragile moments of a baby’s life, the NICU has a big responsibility. All of the latest technology, medicine and medical knowledge are applied, so that precious newborn children have the very best care possible. Why is this important for parents to know? Because when the NICU is ready to release your baby, the timing should be right. These kinds of decisions are not made in a haphazard way, and parents should take heart in this.

2. Sleep is important

Many parents find it useful to get into sync with the sleeping patterns of their new arrival. This can be stressful, but babies who are transitioning from NICU very commonly have erratic sleep patterns (as do all babies, for that matter!). The stress and worry of the situation can be alleviated significantly by making sure you have enough sleep – and this often means adjusting routines for a while until the baby falls into a more natural day/night sleep rhythm.

3. The transition doesn’t end here

Don’t think that the transition from NICU means you don’t have the support you need. Your medical staff should make clear that you always have support – and beyond that, there are other ways of getting continued support through friends, professionals, and even special types of daycare, such as children’s medical daycare in New Jersey. It’s important to remember that your baby and you have professional medical support at many different levels.

Help is out there

The support structures available to children born with special medical needs are constantly evolving. Children’s medical daycare has emerged as a strong choice for parents of newborn children who need transitional care after spending time in NICU. Of course, one size never fits all. For parents, it’s critically important to make sure that your provider has the specific medical knowledge and technology necessary to provide the highest level of transitional support for your child’s unique situation.

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