What to Expect
Highly specialized care for infants
We understand this time can feel confusing and scary, and we do everything we can to make you feel more at ease. Knowing what to expect may help with some of the uncertainty.
Specialized NICU equipment you’ll see
Feeding Tubes: If your baby is unable to get as many calories as they need through regular feeding from a bottle, we use a small feeding tube to deliver formula or pumped breast milk. The tube is placed into your baby’s stomach either through the mouth or nose.
Infant warmers: These are beds with radiant heaters over them. You can touch your baby in the warmer, but check with the NICU staff in advance.
Incubators: These are small beds enclosed by clear, hard plastic. The temperature of the incubator is controlled and closely monitored because premature infants frequently have difficulty maintaining their body temperature. Holes in the incubator allow access to your infant so we can care for – and you can touch – your baby.
IVs and lines: An intravenous catheter (or IV) is a thin, flexible tube inserted into the vein with a small needle. Once in the vein, the needle is removed, leaving just the soft plastic tubing.
Monitors: We keep your baby attached to monitors to watch their vital signs. We will often place your baby in a soothing position, like on their tummy or side.
Phototherapy: Phototherapy is used to help treat jaundice (a common infection in premature infants). We may place your baby on a special light therapy blanket and attach lights to their bed or incubator. Phototherapy is usually only needed for a few days.
Ventilators: If your baby needs extra help breathing, we will connect them to a ventilator (breathing machine) by placing a plastic tube into the windpipe through the mouth or nose).