How Do NICU Nurses Hold Babies?
The quickness with which NICU nurses can change a diaper, bathe a baby and get them resting in their beds can be intimidating to new parents. But, these nurses are so experienced that it can be easy to forget a new parent is watching them work their magic behind the scenes.
Nurses wash their hands often in order to avoid passing germs to the fragile babies they work with. Neonates have underdeveloped lungs and an immature nervous system, making them vulnerable to infections.
They also have to deal with the stress of a new mother who has a difficult birth, whose baby is not healthy, or who is having trouble breathing.
These mothers are a part of the NICU community, but they are also an important source of support for the nurses and their patients. They can be a voice of reason and help to teach the new mothers how to care for their baby once they are discharged from the hospital.
The nurses in the NICU want to get the new moms and dads involved as much as possible in their infant’s care. One of the best ways to do this is through a process called “cares,” which involve teaching parents how to do things like changing their child’s diaper, helping them breastfeed and other daily routines that they may not be familiar with.
Aside from being helpful, these cares can make the time spent in the NICU less stressful for both parents and their newborn. The nurses also help the parents to feel reassured that their baby is okay by showing them photos and videos of other NICU babies who have been discharged from the hospital.
In addition, they teach the new parents about baby development milestones that will allow them to bring their infant home once they are fully developed and healthy enough. The nurses track these milestones to ensure doctors know when a baby is ready to go home and can give the proper medical advice.
They also try to get the new parents to do as much as possible in terms of caring for their babies, which can help ease their stress. For example, the NICU staff will encourage the parents to hold their babies and sing them songs while they’re in the NICU.
Many NICU nurses find that working with the new parents can be rewarding, especially as they watch their babies develop and become more independent. They say this can help them to see that their hard work is paying off and that they are not alone in the challenges they’re facing.
In honor of World Prematurity Day, Story Of This Life and Huggies put together a video to thank the NICU nurses who take great pride in their work with tiny patients. The video shows what a special group of people NICU nurses are, and what an amazing job they do for babies and their families every day.