Monday, May 19, 2008

Visiting the NICU

Once you bring your preemie(s) home, it's natural to want to visit the NICU. It's your chance to thank all of the wonderful doctors, nurses, RTs, etc. that helped your baby, you can say hi to people who became like friends over time and show off how well your preemie is doing. Most NICUs want you to come back and visit - heck, I've had doctors and nurses demand it. Here are a few things to keep in mind in order to make your visit a successful one.

Pick a good time - Call and find out the best time to come for a visit. Although the nurses and doctors are always busy, there are certain times of the day that are less hectic so try and plan a visit during that time. This will give more people a chance to see you and visit with your family. Remember shift changes - you don't want to be stuck in the waiting area for a shift to change.

Who you want to visit - If there are a few doctors and nurses that you really want to see, call ahead and find out if they are working. You won't be able to hit everyone all at once but if you can see a few favorites or primaries than you'll feel even better about the visit.

Set expectations for yourself - Visiting the NICU after your baby has gone home can be a bit hard. Just being there can bring back a flood of memories and emotions that you might not be expecting. Keep in mind that everyone is busy working so they may only get to spend a few minutes with you - don't' take it personally! Depending on how long your preemie was in the NICU, you may have to remind them who you are. Again, don't take it personally - they take care of a lot of babies.

Bring a recent photo - NICUs love to celebrate their successes so bring a picture or two of your preemie. That way they can hang it in the break room for everyone to see.

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