Saint Louis, MO (PRWEB) August 18, 2012
Many of the babies we deliver will spend some time at the SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center Dana Brown Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The American Accreditation Healthcare Commission recognizes our NICU as a Neonatal Center of Excellence. In 2002, SSM was the country’s first health care organization to be named a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award winner. Our network of professionals is sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Mary and owns, operates, and managers 19 acute care hospitals in four states: Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Oklahoma.
Preparing to deliver can be a stressful time for any family, but here are a few tips for your stay at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to make things more manageable.
It always helps to be familiar with the NICU before Mom and baby’s stay. Take a tour of the facility and ask as many possible questions in order to raise your awareness on pregnancy definitions and increase your comfort level.
During the tour at Cardinal Glennon we will walk through the NICU, show some of the patient rooms and explain some of the common equipment used. We will also give a special resource guide to help throughout the stay. The patient and the patient’s family will always have the opportunity to ask any questions.
While waiting for the baby to arrive, the patient can prepare for the upcoming NICU stay. The St. Louis Fetal Care Institute recommends you find a small special blanket. Before the baby arrives, sleep with the blanket for a few weeks. This special blanket will hold Mom’s scent and can go with the baby when he or she is transported to the NICU.
Fill a bag with items needed for the baby’s NICU room. Since every baby at the Dana Brown NICU at Cardinal Glennon has a private room, we encourage our families to bring personal photos and belongings to make the baby’s room as comfortable as possible. Make sure to have a notebook where the patient can write down information learned from the doctors and nurses, along with tracking information regarding the baby’s health.
Many of our moms have said it is helpful to have a camera, an extra cell phone charger, reading material or something else to help pass the time. We have free Wi-Fi if the patient needs Internet access. Keeping our NICU environment quiet and nurturing is important, so please bring earphones if the patient plans on listening to music. Showers and linens are also available, so the patient may want to also bring some toiletries.
Having a baby in the NICU can feel like an out of control situation. Rely on the staff for information, and on the patient’s family for support; together, they are the patient’s best advocates. Ask questions. If the patient doesn’t understand the answers she is given, ask for clarification. It’s okay to ask. The more informed a patient is, the more she will relax and feel better prepared in the care of the little one. We are all on the same team for the baby.
Learn about the baby’s condition. Knowing as much as possible will help make the situation easier. Before the fetal surgery, ask any remaining questions regarding pregnancy conditions, or fetal care disorders such as gastroschisis, bladder outlet obstruction, or bronchopulmonary sequestration.
The physician team is available everyday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. during rounds. Parents are encouraged to participate in team rounding. This is a great time to talk with the baby’s caregivers about questions, concerns, and future plans. Anyone is welcome in the NICU 24-7 and may call anytime.
Get involved and stay informed with the baby’s care. Ask how to assist with feedings. The nurses and lactation consultants will help with breastfeeding the baby during the stay in the NICU. The staff will also prepare you with changing diapers, taking baths, and bonding during cuddle care time.
It’s okay to take a break; it will actually make the patient a better parent. Take a quick walk outside; get some fresh air, a refreshing drink, and a healthy snack. A few minutes away from the beeping machines, nurses and doctors will help Mom feel refreshed and more alert. It’s also important for both the patient and the patient’s family to get sleep while the baby is staying in the NICU. No one will fault you for leaving to get some rest.
For more information on how our professional staff can improve your stay at the SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center Dana Brown Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, please call us at (800) 488-9994 or http://www.cardinalglennon.com/medicalspecialties/nicu/Pages/NICU.aspx.