NICU stands for Neonatal intensive care unit. This is a nursery in a hospital that provides around-the-clock care to sick or premature babies. It has health care providers who have special training and equipment to give your baby the best possible care. Find out about levels of medical care that NICUs provide and what level your baby needs. Learn about equipment that your baby may need and what you can do to be involved in your baby’s care. You can feed your baby and use kangaroo care to get close to him, even in the NICU.
Newborn babies who need intensive medical care are often put in a special area of the hospital called the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The NICU has advanced technology and trained healthcare professionals to give special care for the tiniest patients. NICUs may also care areas for babies who are not as sick but do need specialized nursing care. Some hospitals don’t have the staff for a NICU and babies must be moved to another hospital. Babies who need intensive care do better if they are born in a hospital with a NICU than if they are moved after birth.
Some newborn babies will require care in a NICU. Giving birth to a sick or premature baby can be unexpected for any parent. The NICU can be overwhelming. This information is to help you understand why a baby may need to be in the NICU. You will also find out about some of the procedures that may be needed for the care of your baby.