Here are some frequently asked questions by parents of premature and seriously ill newborn babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Lankenau Medical Center:
When may we visit our baby, and whom may we bring with us?
Parents are allowed to visit anytime—24 hours a day. Other visitors, including friends and relatives, may also visit, provided they are free of a cold, sore throat, cough or open sores and are accompanied by one parent. Up to four visitors at a time—at least one parent included—may visit the infant at the bedside. Siblings may visit a sister or brother; however, certain requirements must be met. These can be discussed with your baby’s nurse. Visitors may also view infants from a corridor outside the NICU.
May we hold our baby?
When the infant is acutely ill, you certainly may touch, cuddle and gently stroke your baby. When your baby’s condition is stable, you may hold him or her. Babies enjoy being cuddled and gently stroked for short periods of time. They also like being talked to in quiet tones. Feeding time is the most likely period when babies are awake and most responsive.
May we take pictures of our baby?
We take pictures of the parents with their babies for identification purposes. We also encourage parents to bring in their own cameras to take pictures whenever they want.
What may we bring from home for our baby?
Parents are encouraged to bring things for their baby to see, hear and feel, including music boxes, family photographs, mobiles and tape recordings. These things are important for infant stimulation. If your baby’s condition permits, booties and clothing are recommended also. Please label everything with your name.
Can I breast-feed my infant?
Yes, if this is the method you have chosen. Even if your infant is premature, your body is able to produce milk, which can be either hand-expressed or mechanically pumped. When properly collected and frozen, breast milk is good for six months. Frozen breast milk can be saved until your baby is ready to begin feeding. Prior to your infant’s discharge, when your infant is bigger and stronger and is allowed to breast-feed, you are encouraged to come in to the NICU and breast-feed. Your infant’s nurse will be able to help you and answer any questions you may have. more
How do we safely transport breast milk to the NICU?
Please make sure that the properly labeled containers of frozen milk are placed in a cooler packed with ice. This insures the milk will not defrost in transit. Defrosted milk is good for only 24 hours when refrigerated. The NICU has a freezer where we store frozen breast milk. Usually the nurse will let you know when your supply of breast milk is getting low; however, please feel free to ask if you will need to bring in a new supply on your next visit. more
Do the procedures in the NICU hurt my baby?
Pain perception in infants is not fully understood. Some of the procedures may be painful; however, we try to minimize pain by gentle touch and soft patting. At times, pain medication is ordered. It is important to remember that crying is a normal response of a baby to its environment and is not always associated with pain.
Lankenau Medical Center
Schedule an appointment with a Lankenau specialist:
For more information, call 1.866.CALL.MLH.