Having a baby is usually a cause for celebration, but unfortunately not all babies are born healthy, whether due to health conditions or injuries sustained at birth. When this happens, the baby is taken to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to be provided with the specialized or intensive (often life-saving) treatment that is needed. The NICU sees about 10 to 15 percent of all newborn babies. Understandably, this can be a very emotionally trying time. Here are some tips for NICU parents to cope with an incredibly difficult and intense set of circumstances.
- Understand the Rules and Regulations of the NICU
Not every NICU allows for 24-7 visitation. Some have restrictions on the time of day, others on how many people can visit a baby at once. Knowing when you are allowed to visit can help to relieve stress. It is critical to wash your hands well each and every time you enter or leave the room, or touch your child. Additionally, respect the privacy of other families as they too are going through an emotional roller coaster.
- Be Actively Involved in Your Child’s Care
Feel free to ask the doctors and staff any and all questions you may have about your child’s condition or the caretaking process. They will be happy to share information with you as they strongly encourage parental involvement. You may be able and encouraged to perform some care tasks, including feeding and changing diapers, and perhaps even cuddling with your little one.
- Take Advantage of Available Resources
Most NICUs have plenty of resources available to parents; however, you may need to request access to these things. From breastfeeding support and consultants to support groups to rooms to stay overnight with your child, there is a wealth of help available to you- you simply need to ask.
- Celebrate Small Victories
Spending day in and day out in the NICU can make the days seem like one big blur, but it is really important to recognize and celebrate your child’s progress. Among all of the other things you’ve got to worry about, don’t forget to take pictures and videos so that you can eventually look back at them and more easily see how far they have come.
- Take Care of Yourself
It’s very easy to forget to take care of yourself while your baby is in the NICU. Make yourself a priority – don’t hesitate to take time for yourself, and talk about your situation. Whether that means speaking with friends or family, or seeking professional advice, there are always people willing to listen and assist.
Graves McLain Supports NICU Parents
The attorneys at Graves McLain have substantial experience in representing difficult, often complex birth injury cases. Call an experienced Birth Injury Attorney at Graves McLain at 918-359-6600 today. There is no attorney’s fee unless we win your case. Trust our team. We’re here to help.
Graves McLain – Serious Lawyers for Serious Injuries.