NICU: Resources for Parents
At Wasie NICU at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, we are proud to offer parents and caregivers support resources throughout your baby’s NICU stay – and beyond. Many of our NICU graduate families come back to volunteer as family ambassadors to help other families through their NICU experience. We are a big NICU family and we are here for you and your baby through every step of this journey.
NICU Lactation Support
Breast milk is the best food for your baby and breastfeeding while your baby is in the NICU can feel overwhelming – but support is here. Join our breastfeeding support group for NICU moms at 10:00 a.m. on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. We’ll discuss strategies to boost your milk supply, talk about the logistics of feeding your NICU baby and develop friendships with other moms going through similar experiences. Talk to your baby’s NICU nurse for more information on available support groups.
NICU Family Support Meeting
Having a baby in the NICU can be a roller coaster ride. We invite you to join a weekly family support group to get strength and support from other families in similar situations. Join us either in-person or via WebEx on Wednesdays from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. Due to the sensitive nature of the topics discussed, we request that children not attend the meeting. For more information, please contact your NICU social worker at 954-265-2295.
NICU Parents and Leadership Forum
This weekly meeting allows NICU parents to meet with the NICU Leadership team. This informal chat gives parents the chance to ask general questions about the NICU, neonatal conditions and unit-specific strategies and philosophy. For more information, please ask your baby’s nurse manager.
What Can I Bring from Home?
While your baby is in the NICU, we know it’s essential to make them feel at home. Our NICUs recommend bringing in select items from home to help stimulate your baby’s growth and development. Please label your baby’s items before bringing them into the NICU – and remember that the isolette is small!
Items you can bring into the NICU include:
- Books – reading to your baby is one of the best things you can do
- Clothes (freshly washed)
- Crib mobiles
- Developmental toys based on discussions with your baby’s physical therapist
- Small rattles – cloth and plastic
- Photos of family members/pictures drawn by brothers or sisters
Ways to Help Your Family in the NICU
Loved ones might ask how they can help support your family throughout your baby’s NICU stay. Your baby’s impending homecoming is a perfect time to have loved ones step in and help to prepare your home for your baby’s arrival. Suggestions include:
- Clean house – we encourage bringing your baby home into a clean, smoke-free home environment.
- Keep it quiet – your baby’s immune system is not yet at full strength, so limiting visitors at the beginning – especially during cold and flu season – is the safest choice. Keeping the house quiet will help your baby adjust to being home and protect them from germs.
- Safe sleep – your baby needs a dedicated crib or pack-and-play free from blankets, stuffed animals and bumpers to lower their SIDS risk. Always put your baby to sleep on their back.
- Stock up on food – the first few days at home will be an adjustment period for everyone. Having your freezer and refrigerator stocked with meals and snacks will give you more time to focus on your baby.
- Supplies – you will need baby supplies like wipes, diapers, bottles, high-calorie formula and low-flow bottle nipples for your baby’s transition to home.
Maternal Addiction Support
We offer Mothers in Recovery (MIR) to our patients who are addicted to drugs or alcohol. The program is offered at the Memorial Regional Hospital main campus and is designed to help mothers safely withdraw while providing support and resources.