Life After the NICU

While your baby is in the NICU, you will probably long to be home together as a family. When you are given the word that your baby will be discharged, your care team will be celebrating the news with you. Remember, you will always be part of the CHOC NICU family. We welcome visits and updates, and are here for you and your family as you continue on your journey.

Your medical team will discuss follow-up appointments that your baby may need after discharge. Depending on your baby’s needs, they may be seen at:

Support the NICU

Neonatologist Dr. Ashrafi and newborn baby in CHOC Cardiac NICU

Support services make a world of difference for families during their NICU stay. Donate to the CHOC Foundation and help us ensure families continue to receive the support they need.

Volunteering in the NICU

We welcome volunteers who are excited to make a difference in the lives of our patients and staff. Our NICU volunteers help by working at the reception desk and supporting the unit secretary. Volunteers who sign up to work in the hospitality department also get a chance to work in the NICU, as well as other hospital units.

The NICU also has special, hand-selected volunteers who assist nursing staff with one of the most important aspects of each infant’s treatment: cuddling. While our nurses would love to be able to cuddle our patients all day, our cuddlers free up our nurses to perform their many other responsibilities while still providing your baby with human touch when families are not available. The cuddler program is very limited due to high interest. Volunteers must sign up for another area of the hospital first, and then join a waiting list to transfer to the cuddler program when a spot becomes available. Additional training is required.

Learn more about volunteer opportunities and fill out our volunteer form. Someone from the volunteer program will reach out to you to discuss our opportunities.