Having a baby in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is often unexpected and can be overwhelming. We understand that family is the most important part of a baby's life, and each family will cope with having a baby in the NICU in their own way.
You can expect the following from the NICU at Rush:
- A caring environment where the baby is part of the family and the family is part of the health care team.
- A NICU staff that is here to help you through this difficult time.
- Respect for the beliefs and customs of each family
- A warm and welcoming place that is safe, supportive and flexible to meet your needs.
- Open and clear information about what is happening with your baby. Staff will work with you to plan and care for your baby and you.
Being with your baby
You are very important to your baby, and we want you to feel welcome in the NICU at all times, day or night.
For the health and safety of your baby, it is important to follow the guidelines listed below. If you have any questions, please let us know.
- Friends and family members are welcome to stay with you at your convenience.
- Brothers and sisters ages 3 and up are welcome at any time. An adult must accompany all children. Talking with your children about what they see in the NICU will help them prepare for the visit. Please make sure siblings are in good health and be aware that it is often difficult for younger children to spend long periods at the bedside.
- For the developmental needs of your baby we suggest you speak with your health care providers to determine how many people is best to have in the room at any one time. There is a family room located in the NICU where additional family members and friends can wait.
- In addition to the family room, there is a quiet respite area located on the east side of pod B where you can enjoy a view of the city.
Providing breast milk to your baby
The Rush Mothers' Milk Club is the lactation and human milk feeding program in the NICU at Rush. The program is based on the most up-to-date research about lactation and human milk for premature and other NICU babies.
Neonatologists, nurses, dietitians, and breastfeeding peer counselors share this research with families so that they can work with the NICU staff members to collect, store, and feed each mothers' milk using techniques and procedures that most benefit the individual baby.
Helpful information for families and visitors
- Driving and parking
- Dining options
- Interpreter services
- Spiritual and emotional support
- What members of the NICU health care team do
Other resources and events
- Carepages.com: This is an online community where you can share the challenges, hopes and triumphs of facing a life-changing health event. Through personalized websites, members can relate their stories, post photos, and update friends and family instantly. In turn, people who care send messages of love and encouragement.
- March of Dimes Walk
- The annual preemie picnic and NICU graduate reunion at Rush