Every Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) has a protocol of discussing the baby’s condition everyday with the parents. Prepare your queries well in advance so that you don’t miss anything. It is always better to talk to the neonatologist. Be calm and composed and interact with an open mind. The most important questions to ask are:
How is my baby today? – Know your baby’s current situation
Any improvement since last discussion? – This is important to know if the situation is becoming better or not.
What will be involved in my baby’s treatment and daily care? – Be assured that the best care is being given to your baby. Enquire if any other specialists have been added to the team.
What medicines are being given to my baby? – It is important for you to know if any high potency drugs or steroids have been given to your baby or not. It is important that you question the doctor about any possible side effects.
How my baby is getting nutrition? – You should know if you can breast feed your child or not. Also if you are not able or allowed to do so, where is the baby getting the nutrition from.
When should I start feeding my baby? – This is important if you are the mother. It is recommended that you opt for exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months.
How long will my baby be in NICU?- It is important for you to know the present situation so that you can estimate the time left in the NICU. This shall help you have a positive frame of mind.
What can I do to help my baby? – Enquire if your doctor wants you to have some lifestyle modifications to help your baby.
How often and for how long can I stay with my baby? – This is important so that you can personally see your baby. This also helps your bonding.
What are the various tests to be done for my baby? – You should know the diagnostic tests being planned and the results of each of them.
You can enquire about the infection control practices of unit which are to be followed before entering the unit. Also, ask about the visiting schedule and other general policies of NICU. Be calm and composed, also be positive and trust your baby’s doctor.