Arrival at the NICU
Once you are able to go to the NICU, it may seem a bit unfamiliar and frightening. There will be noises and machines you are not used to seeing and hearing. The equipment is necessary for us to monitor and offer the best possible care to your baby, and we will explain each one to you once your baby is admitted and stabilized.
You will receive a yellow wristband that you will wear during the entirety of your baby’s stay. This wristband tells the NICU staff who you are and which baby you belong with. You will need this wristband every time you enter the NICU.
You will be greeted by your baby’s nurse, who will update you on the transfer and on how your baby is doing in the NICU. Please share any information that you think can help your baby be more comfortable.
What You Might Feel
Having a baby in the NICU can cause conflicting emotions. Below are a few common responses to the experience of having a baby in the NICU. If you or your loved ones are struggling with difficult emotions, please reach out to any member of your NICU team and we can work together to help you through it. It is important to understand your feelings and take care of yourself. It is normal to have these feelings. You are not alone.
- Shock over an early birth or birth with complications
- Mother’s physical weakness after the birth
- Disappointment over not having a healthy baby
- Guilt and playing the “what if” game
- Feelings of helplessness
- Fear about the procedures and tests your baby is going through
- Anger at self and others
- Crying, sadness, emotional upset
- Fear about the future
Tips for Dealing with Stress
- Allow yourself to feel all of the emotions that are coming to you. You are going through something extremely stressful. You are allowed to be upset. Don’t bottle it up. Talk with someone about how you are feeling.
- When you are able, try to establish a routine. It could help you feel in control.
- Talk to other parents of NICU babies. People who have been in the NICU longer than you could share some tips on how to deal with the stress while offering much-needed emotional support.
- The NICU team is here to help and support you. Don’t hesitate to ask for help.