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What to expect in a NICU

What to expect in a NICU

Walking into NICU can feel like stepping into another planet. The environment is probably unlike anything you have experienced. You may find a lot of electronic gadgets and different kind of beeping monitors.

Once settled in the unit, your baby will receive care tailored to his/her specific needs. You may find different kind of equipments on different babies depending on their condition.

Interact with the nurse assigned to your baby to know more about your baby in the NICU. She may tell you about various equipments attached to your baby.

NICU

NICU equipments

You can familiarise yourself with few of the common equipments your baby may be using:

  • Feeding tubes: Often NICU babies cannot get as many calories as they need, so nurses use a small feeding tube to deliver formula or expressed breast milk .The tube may go through the mouth or the nostrils to the stomach. Don’t get afraid of the feeding tube, they are not painful.
  • Infant warmers: These are beds with overhead radiant heaters. Parents can touch their babies in the warmer, but it’s better to discuss it first with the primary nurse.
  • Phototherapy: These are special blue lights emitting sources to decrease neonatal jaundice. These units are generally placed below and above the baby. Infants might lie on a special light therapy blanket. You may find babies without clothes with eye blinders under phototherapy.
  • Ventilators: Babies in NICU sometimes need extra help to breath. An infant is connected to the ventilator via an endotracheal tube ( a plastic tube placed into windpipe through the mouth or nose)
  • Monitors
  • IV lines

Don’t get worried to see your baby surrounded by different equipments and gadgets, each has a specific role to play in keeping your baby safe and monitoring his/her condition. If you have any concerns discuss the same with the neonatologist.

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