Although no one plans to have their baby in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, about 10% of newborns will spend some time there. Prematurity is the most common reason, but even some less severe, full term concerns such as respiratory issues, unstable blood sugar, infection, or jaundice may warrant a short stay. What should you know? Dr. Sue Hall tells us more. Check it out!
To listen here, click the play button on the player above, or click the button below to listen in iTunes.
What we talked about:
- What is a NICU, and the difference between the NICU and a Special Care Nursery
- Reasons babies may be taken to the NICU
- What can parents expect?
- Running the emotional gamut
- How can parents be part of the team and more involved in baby’s care?
- How much of baby care can parents participate in?
- Tips on communicating with the NICU staff
- Connecting with your social worker ally
- Being present for physician rounds
- Where can parents find support
- How much time can they spend with their babies? Other support areas? Rooms, breastfeeding support, pumping support. IBCLC’s?
- Assistance – with transportation, meals, a place to stay?
- Going home: tips for preparing and where to seek help
- Processing the NICU stay
- Special considerations in case of loss
Resources and links:
- NICU Parent’s Bill of Rights, from the Preemie Parent Alliance
- Support4nicuParents.org – This is the organization created by Dr. Hall
- NICU Glossary and other Information Sheets for parents of preemies (from Graham’s Foundation)
- Resources Every NICU Family Should Know, from HandToHold.org
- 21 Tips for Navigating the NICU
- Interdisciplinary Recommendations for the Psychosocial Support of NICU Parents, special issue from the Journal of Perinatology (guest edited by Dr. Hall)
- Ronald McDonald House Charities
- Premature Babies and the Postpartum Doula, from DONA.org
Related Birthful episodes:
- Connecting With Your Baby in Utero, with Penny Simkin
About Dr. Sue Hall
Dr. Sue Hall has been a neonatologist for 25 years, and before that she worked as a master’s level social worker. She has a BA from Stanford University, an MSW from Boston University, and an MD from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She completed training in Pediatrics and Neonatology at The Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO, then joined the faculty at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine where she was affiliated for 19 years. Now in private practice at a community hospital NICU in Southern California, Dr. Hall was the Co-Chair of the National Perinatal Association’s Workgroup on “Interdisciplinary Recommendations for Psychosocial Support of NICU Parents,” which resulted in publication of a supplement issue of Journal of Perinatology in December, 2015. She is also the author of a book about life in the NICU, titled For the Love of Babies, published in June, 2011.
Learn more at suehallmd.com
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