Preparing for Your Baby’s NICU Visit
We know it’s impossible to be prepared for your baby’s admission into the NICU – but the entire team at the Wasie NICU at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital is here to offer our support. No question is off-limits and no concern is too small. Our NICU is built on family-centered care. While your baby’s medical issues are our priority, we are also committed to providing compassionate care for you and your loved ones during this challenging time.
High-Risk Pregnancy and Delivery
Memorial Healthcare offers a continuum of care to our high-risk pregnancy moms delivering at one of our three Memorial Family Birthplace locations. The Memorial Maternal-Fetal specialists provide high-risk care for moms and babies. We work closely with community physicians to ensure our expectant moms-to-be are receiving comprehensive, specialized prenatal care. Babies are closely monitored and if your little one requires extra medical care following delivery, our team will create a comprehensive care plan for a transfer to the NICU after birth.
NICU Tests and Procedures
Most of our NICU babies will need to undergo daily testing during their stay. These tests help us track your baby’s progress, flag any abnormal blood levels and monitor any concerning issues. The most common NICU tests and procedures include:
- Diagnostic tests: during your baby’s NICU stay, he or she might need X-rays, ultrasounds or other types of diagnostic testing. Parents or caregivers are encouraged to stay with your baby throughout these procedures.
- IV: your baby might need to have intravenous (IV) access during their NICU stay for fluids, blood transfusions, antibiotics or pain medications. Babies who need long-term IV access may have a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line placed.
- Laboratory tests: our NICU team frequently orders laboratory tests to help diagnose and evaluate your baby’s condition. These blood samples are typically taken from a vein or by a heel stick. Morning lab tests are taken daily between 5:00 – 7:00 a.m. to have the results ready for your baby’s physician during rounds.
Certain procedures require a completely sterile environment, making your baby’s NICU room temporarily inaccessible to parents/caregivers. We appreciate your patience and you will be notified as soon as you can return to your baby’s bedside. Some procedures allow parents to be present while wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks, hats and gowns.
Caring for Your Baby in the NICU
When your baby is in the NICU it’s normal to want to bring things from home. We encourage families to bring items from home that will help stimulate their infant as well as promote growth and development.
Some items to consider are:
- Clothes that have been washed
- Crib mobiles
- Other developmentally appropriate toys based on conversations with your occupational therapist
- Pictures of family members
- Small rattles (cloth or plastic)
The Importance of Reading to Your Baby
Reading to your baby throughout their NICU stay and when you return home is one of the best ways to support your baby’s growth and development. Your soothing reading voice helps your baby’s brain cells connect and sets up learning and language pathways. Reading to your baby is also a wonderful way for you to bond with them and contribute to their care– and it’s a familiar routine you can take home after your baby is discharged. Reading is so important that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 15-20 minutes of reading daily for all babies and children to encourage development.
The Wasie Joe DiMaggio NICU is proud to be a part of the Reach Out and Read Program, with books generously being provided by the Memorial Foundation. Please ask your baby’s NICU nurse for more information and how to obtain your books.
Staying Infection-Free in the NICU
Keeping your baby safe from additional infection risks is a top priority for our NICU team. We appreciate your commitment to handwashing with a “one-minute scrub” upon entering the NICU, which includes rolling up your sleeves to the elbow, removing any jewelry and washing your arms, hands and fingernails for a full minute.
Before you touch your baby, you should rewash your hands and use hand sanitizer. Make sure to thoroughly wash your hands when you change your baby’s diaper. If you are feeling ill, you should not visit until you are symptom-free. Please also make sure to stay only in your baby’s area to keep the possible spread of germs to a minimum. You are welcome to visit with other families in designated group spaces like the NICU lounge.
Bonding between parents and baby is just as important in the hospital as it is at home. That’s why our three NICU locations offer NICVIEW cameras – allowing you to see your baby in real-time when you are unable to be at the bedside, helping you feel more connected. This streaming video of your baby can only be accessed with a username and password, giving loved ones a glimpse into your baby’s day in the NICU.
What are NICVIEW cameras?
The NICVIEW camera is a free and secure webcam that is mounted about the baby’s crib or isolette that provides a virtual window to your baby at any time. You can use the camera if you need to be away for a night or share access with family and friends who want to see the newest addition to your family.
How do I use the NICVIEW Camera?
Before you can view your baby with NICVIEW, you will be asked to sign a consent form. You will then be provided with a print-out with your unique username and password. All you need to access the camera is a connection to the internet.
Who can access the NICVIEW camera?
You can provide access to whomever, and as many people you would like, using your unique username and password.
Without your username and password, the only other people who can access your baby’s NICVIEW camera are Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital authorized personnel.
All video is secure, and nothing is recorded.
What will I see on the NICVIEW camera?
Once you are logged in, you will start receiving live streaming images of your baby. If the medical team is caring for your baby or your baby is in the swing, the camera will be “off-line” during those times and you will see an “off-line” message.
If your camera needs adjusting or you can’t see your baby, we can help. Please call the NICU at 954-265-4270 to speak with the unit secretary who can assist you.