Going into labor has to be one of the most intense and stressful times in a new moms life. Although giving birth can be a blessing, it can be fraught with fear and unknowns. I distinctly remember my mom coming home from the hospital after giving birth to my brother, and him not being with her. When I asked why, she told me that he had to stay in the NICU and explained some things that happen when the hospital puts your baby in the NICU.
My mom, who assured me that everything would be OK, revealed to me that babies who are put in the NICU, or Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, after birth are there because they need a little extra care. Later, I learned that it was because the doctors saw a potential issue with my brother's health and wanted to keep him under supervision for a little while longer. Though I didn't really understand what was going on, I knew that he was in good hands and just couldn't wait for him to get home.
So, if you're just as curious as the 5 year old me was, here are five things to remember about what goes down in the NICU.
According to Nemours, NICU babies receive a team of nurses who are responsible for their day-to-day care. Though there will be doctors included in the care of your baby, the nurses will be the ones who you'll communicate with most.
Parenting noted that while in the NICU, your baby will be on a special feeding schedule. It is encouraged that you be there for each one, as being present helps build the bond between you and your baby.
According to Women's Healthcare Topics, babies placed in the NICU need at least one medicine. This could include antibiotics or medicines that improve your baby's lungs or heart. They could even need an IV placed in their vein to receive the medicine.
Nemours noted that once your baby is placed in NICU, they will have to undergo various tests to make sure that their care stays on track. Doctors could order periodic blood and urine tests, X-rays, and ultrasounds.
According to Women's Healthcare Topics, each baby will be closely monitored and watched and will have their vital signs tracked by nurses and doctors. So while leaving your newborn at the hospital could be nerve wracking experience, you can rest easy knowing that they'll be in the best care possible.