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NICU FAQ

Neonatal services

When can I see my baby?

Parents can be with their baby 24 hours a day, however, there are no sleeping facilities available for parents on the unit.

Parents are welcome to be with their baby during the nursing and medical staff handovers and during the medical review of their baby. If you are a solo parent, you can have one other named person that can have access to the unit 24 hours a day. On Monday within the ITU/HDU rooms whilst ward round is happening, you may be asked to leave the room, whilst other babies are being discussed.

How do I find the neonatal Unit?

Enter the main Rosie Maternity Reception and use the stairs or lifts to reach Level 3. There are signs to show the way to the Neonatal Unit.

Before entering the Neonatal Unit, everyone must wash their hands at the sinks provided.

To enter the Neonatal Unit, you will need to use the entry phone system. When you press this button a member of Neonatal staff will ask you to confirm your details to check your identity.

Can I use my mobile phone on the Neonatal Unit?

Mobile phones can be used on the unit, however, they will need to be on silent mode and phone calls will need to be taken outside of the neonatal rooms to reduce noise levels for the babies. While your baby is on NICU we can use a system called V-CREATE to face time your baby so you stay in contact even when you are off the unit to help you feel connected and reassured

Where can I park?

Car Park 2 is the closest to the Rosie Maternity Hospital. There are signs to the car park across the hospital campus.

There is a concessionary ticket available per family which will give you a discounted car parking ticket for 7 days. When your 7-day ticket expires, you can repeat the process again throughout your baby’s stay on the Neonatal Unit.

When you first arrive to park, take the ticket from the machine which you get when entering the car park. Bring the ticket with you and ask the ward clerk to stamp your ticket. Then you will need to take the stamped ticket to the customer service desk located within the car park. They will exchange the ticket and you can then enter the ticket into the machine a pay the concessionary price.

For further details, please speak to the ward clerk or the nurse caring for your baby.

Can brothers and sisters visit?

We welcome parents, brothers, and sisters to spend as much time with your baby as they wish. As direct family members, you will usually have open access with no restrictions, however, there are exceptional circumstances when this may not be possible. This may be due to infection control purposes, especially throughout the Autumn/Winter months.

We do have a storybook that was designed by the Neonatal team for children who have a sibling on the Neonatal Unit. Please speak to a member of staff to request a book.

Who can visit?

Your choice of visitor is welcome between 2.30pm and 7pm daily. Only 2 adults at any time at the cot side for short periods only. Please explain that they may only visit when you are present unless we have permission documented that they can attend on their own and that we are unable to give them any information about your baby’s condition. Children who are not siblings may only visit the unit if they are over the age of 16 years due to the risk of infection.

When can I touch my baby?

If you baby is stable, we encourage skin to skin in the delivery room after your baby is stabilised and before your baby is transferred to NICU by the team. On NICU, parents and siblings are encouraged to interact with their new baby as quickly as possible. Your baby will recognise your voice and skin to skin holding is beneficial to both you and your baby. Nurses will support you to care for your baby’s needs as much as possible.

I planned to breast feed my baby, but she is premature, is this still possible?

Breastfeeding your preterm infant is still possible. In fact, we encourage you to try and express soon as possible after delivery. Until your baby is able to breastfeed, you will need to establish a milk supply by expressing your breast milk with a pump or by hand. Your milk can then be stored until required. Pre-term babies can begin to suck from the breast after about 33 weeks gestation. While developing their sucking and swallowing technique they can tire easily and may appear to play at the breast either licking or taking a few sucks before falling asleep. This is a normal process. You will be supported by our nursing team, Breast feeding Lactation consultant and our SALT team who will be able to assist and advise you in establishing successful breastfeeding. Pre-term babies are fed via a naso-gastric tube until they are able to establish either breast or bottle-feeding.

There are so many lines attached to my baby, what are they for?

Your newborn baby may need to be monitored closely and may need to receive intravenous fluids or drugs. A great deal of the equipment you will see around your baby is routine – ECG leads on your baby’s chest assist us in monitoring his/her heart rate and breathing and the probe with a light, possibly on the foot or wrist, allows us to monitor how much oxygen is circulating in their blood. Please ask the nurse caring for your baby to explain the equipment to you; he/she will be more than happy to do this.

I have so many questions I would like answering, who do I ask?

Every member of our team would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have, so please feel relaxed in approaching us. We will do all we can to answer your questions and queries.

How long will my baby be in NICU?

We usually say, aim for your due date. Babies born nearer their full term may be home before this time. Some very premature babies may still need to be looked after in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit beyond their due date. When your baby is stable and getting closer to going home we You will be able to prepare to go home caring for your baby when you are transferred to our ward Charles Wolfson Ward Ward (TCW) once your baby is stable, not requiring additional monitoring, ECG/Saturation for example and has reached 33 weeks gestation. We expect that your baby will be part feeding either by breast or bottle as well as naso-gastric feeding and gaining weight or without medical concerns.

What support will I have at home?

You may be introduced to one of our neonatal outreach nurses prior to your baby’s discharge. The Neonatal Outreach Team normally visit as often as required when you are first discharged and become less frequent as your needs require. If you do not need our outreach team involvement, your community midwife and health visitor will be your main support once you are home. They will have been updated on your baby's treatment during your stay in NICU and on discharge. Health visitors should contact you at home after your discharge.