FAQs about Neonatal ICU (NICU)

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Questions About NICU Care? Here Are Some Answers.

Why Would My Baby Need To Be in a NICU?

Babies who have trouble breathing, due to prematurity or a complication, can get help in a NICU. And babies who are born with an illness or condition that requires medication, monitoring, or surgery will receive the extra care they need in a neonatal intensive care unit.

How Long Will My Baby Be in the NICU?

Each case is different, and the answer can range from several hours to several weeks. Generally, the more prematurely a baby is born, or the more serious her illness, the longer her stay in a NICU. Her care team may be moved to a different level of NICU depending on her progress. Once a baby is showing that she can breathe on her own, regulate her body temperature, gain weight and be fed by breast or bottle, she should be ready to go home.

Can I Visit My Baby, and Participate in Her Care?

Parents are welcome to be with their babies in the NICU at any time; in fact, we encourage visits. As your baby gets stronger, you’ll be able to hold her and help feed her. Talk to your doctor or midwife about pumping and storing breast milk if your baby is not yet able to breastfeed. All visitors to the NICU should be free of any illness or infection and wash their hands thoroughly.

Can Children or Other Guests Come Visit?

If the baby has big brothers or sisters, they’re welcome to visit along with their parents.

Can I Sleep in the NICU Near My Baby?

We know moms and dads want to be as close as possible to their baby, so Swedish has sleep rooms available for parents during their baby’s NICU stay. When your baby no longer needs NICU care, we also have rooms where parents and babies stay together, to help the family get ready to leave the hospital and head home.