NICU Care: Ensuring The Best For Your Newborn

March 27, 2024

Ask any parent, they’ll tell you that besides being adorable, babies are the most delicate of beings.

From the time they are growing inside the womb as a fetus to their arrival in this world, one has to be super cautious with them. Each baby that comes to this world is beautiful in their own way. But some are born early or with complications; in such scenarios, they are required to spend some time in the NICU (Neonatal intensive care unit), where specialized pediatricians supervise their recovery.

If your baby is born prematurely or develops a condition at birth, it’s not difficult to find the best pediatric doctor in Dubai, as the city offers healthcare excellence in every department. With constant advancements in patient care, even the best pediatrician in Dubai will tell you that a short stay (5-7 days) at an NICU is enough for your little champ to fully recover and go home with you.

What does an NICU Look like?

If you delivered at a large, emergency hospital in Dubai, you’ll find the NICU in a quiet and secluded place corner of the facility, where there’s not much noise to startle the little ones. For a start, you will hear some baby cooing, babbling and cries. Usually, the mother and one relative are allowed to stay in the unit. To further ensure the comfort of the little ones, the hospital staff will usually keep the ambience dark and quiet, to not overwhelm them.

Most babies will be kept under an open cot or a covered incubator, depending on the nature of their condition. They might also be inserted with a cannula to receive nourishment and intravenous antibiotics. If the baby’s condition is assessed to be serious, they might also be attached to machines for monitoring their heart rate, breathing, and the flow of oxygen in their blood and/or the use of special blue lights for Jaundice treatment.

The Staff at NICU

Each baby is assigned a nurse and a specialist who possess understanding of the case. They will make periodic visits to see the baby’s progress. These visits are termed as ward rounds. You can ask as many questions as you please, and the visiting caregiver will be on hand to assist you.

Besides a specialist pediatrician, a neonatologist is also present. They can help you with things like breastfeeding techniques, putting the baby to sleep and diagnosing any usual symptom that you might have missed to notice. If the mother had a C section, a physiotherapist will also be on duty to conduct physiotherapy classes.

Besides specialist roles, the NICU is also a place where support staff such as psychologists, occupational therapists and care workers are on ground to offer moral support to mums under bouts of anxiety, depression and other mental health challenges.

Your Baby’s Stay at NICU

One of the key functions of any NICU is to lower stress levels of the baby. They are new to this world and everything happening around them is overwhelming for them. Hence, special measures are taken to ensure low noise levels and fewer lighting fixtures throughout the ward.

Nurses on round will keep checking on you and the baby after short intervals. Here are some of the support they’ll offer:

  • Bathing and feeding your baby
  • Schedule care to not disturb the baby’s sleep cycle
  • Conduct vital signs check
  • Ensure baby’s clothes and bedding are clean

Bonding with your Baby

While generally, NICU is a supportive space for both the mother and the child, there’s no place like home. Still, there are a few things you can do to bond with your little one:

  • With permission from the healthcare personnel, maintain as much skin contact as possible
  • Understand your baby’s body language and signs
  • Express breast milk if they are under phototherapy or on an incubator
  • Gently pat or stroke them
  • Do activities that make the baby recognize you
  • Speak with a counselor 

Taking Care of yourself at NICU

Looking after yourself is just as important as taking care of your tiny human. Ensure that you have at least one visitor with you throughout for support. Also, keep your phone with you to reach out to friends and family for advice and counseling.

You can also bond with other mothers present in the facility to share your baby’s progress and talk about life in general. They’ll share the same wavelength as you in terms of understanding the whole situation. Lastly, think of things that you will do when your baby returns home with you, such as planning family trips, arranging a homecoming, etc.

A stay in the NICU is an unwelcome distraction during one of the most precious moments of your life. However, with the advancement of childcare in recent times, your little one is guaranteed to receive the best treatment available. As a mother, you need to remain calm and offer all the love in the world to your baby for their speedy recovery and discharge from the facility.

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