- A member of the transport team should call you when your child arrives at Children’s Hospital.
- When your baby arrives the team will examine your baby.
- There is a senior neonatologist in the hospital 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to care for your baby.
Contacting the NICU
- Call 1-800-274-5437 to check on your baby as often as you wish.
- Parents are encouraged to call the unit anytime to get information about their baby, except when the nurses change shifts from 6:30-7:30 in the morning and again from 6:30 to 7:30 in the evening.
- Each time that you call to check on your baby, your nurse will ask you for a code word which should be used only by the parents. Due to privacy laws, other family members should get information from the parents. Your baby’s location may change during the hospitalization, so please ask for your baby by name when calling rather than by bed number.
- The NICU is located on the 3rd floor of the southwest wing of the hospital. Download a map of the 3rd floor.
NICU Visitation Guidelines
- When you arrive at ACH you will receive a badge at the hospital entrance with your baby’s name. For security reasons, this badge should be worn at all times while in the hospital.
- Please stop at the NICU desk and ask the secretary to call your baby’s nurse.
- We ask all visitors to wash their hands and arms and wear a cover gown when entering the unit.
- Your baby will be in an area called a pod. The secretary will direct you to the correct pod.
Handling your baby
The first time you see your baby may be upsetting because of the many machines and devices which are used to monitor and treat your baby.
Machines are used to:
- Monitor your baby’s heart rate, breathing, blood pressure and oxygen level.
- Give breaths because the lungs are not fully developed.
- Give nutrition.
Here are some basic guidelines to remember when handling your baby:
- Very sick babies are sometimes over stimulated by even minimal handling and noise.
- Premature babies have nervous systems that are not developed and stroking or rubbing may be painful rather than soothing to them.
- Your nurse will show you how to touch your baby by containing and providing a feeling of security.
- In the times that your infant’s behavior shows that touch needs to be limited, your presence is still supportive. Your baby will know your voice and smell.
How to help your baby's health by breastfeeding
One thing you can do right away to help your baby fight infection and grow is to provide your expressed breast milk. A nurse at your hospital can assist you to start collecting your milk. The sooner you begin pumping the better your supply will be when your baby is ready to be fed. Your milk is good for 3 days in the refrigerator and longer if frozen. Unless you live close to Children's it is better to bring refrigerated milk rather than frozen milk because of the possibility of thawing while you travel to Children's. Once frozen milk is thawed it must be used within one day or be discarded. We strongly encourage you to attend one of our groups where many of the things you see in the unit are explained. You can ask at the front desk for information regarding meeting times.
Read more about breastfeeding.