What to Expect When Your Baby Is in the NICU
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at a maternity hospital is a special nursery that provides specialized care for premature and micro-premature babies, and those who display other health problems within the first few days of life. It isn’t easy for parents to adjust to the fact that their children have serious medical conditions. However, parents can rest assured that at West Hills Hospital, a maternity hospital with a Level II NICU, their children will receive the specialized care they need. You can watch this video to become familiar with the environment of the NICU in our maternity hospital. It features West Hills Hospital staff, including a Registered Nurse (RN) whose triplets were placed in the NICU.
When your child is placed in the NICU, you can expect to interact with many different maternity hospital staff members. Neonatologists are physicians who specialize in the care of infants. The charge nurse is in charge of any particular shift, while the primary nurse is assigned specifically to your baby. Your baby may also be cared for by a nutritionist, physical therapist, and respiratory therapist.
Your baby will receive a personalized treatment plan in the maternity hospital, depending on his or her needs. Newborns may receive medications such as antibiotics and they may have a feeding tube. The neonatologist may order tests to monitor the baby’s condition. These might include X-rays, ultrasounds, blood tests, and urine tests.
Visitation in the NICU is highly restricted to prevent the spread of germs, which means other children such as siblings may not be able to visit the newborn. However, NICU staff strives to facilitate family bonding. You can ask the doctor if you can hold your baby. If not, you may be able to hold his or her hand, or stroke your baby’s head.
For the specialized care for the youngest of patients, West Hills Hospital features a Level II-b NICU. The NICU in our maternity hospital in West Hills is among the best-equipped in the area, with specially trained neonatologists who are dedicated to saving the lives of children and giving them the start in life that they deserve. If you have general questions about visiting the NICU at our maternity hospital, call (818) 676-4321 and speak with one of our registered nurses.