II. In the NICU

Like most parents, you were expecting a healthy baby who would go home with you in a few days. Instead, your baby was taken to the NICU or a special care nursery. The NICU is the place in the hospital where some newborns go for medical care.

Babies go to the NICU because they were born:

  • Prematurely, before 37 weeks of pregnancy
  • With birth defects
  • With other medical problems like an infection or a condition in which they need surgery

All babies in the NICU need medical care and staff to check on them 24 hours a day. Parents have very mixed feelings when their baby is in the NICU. They may be happy to welcome their baby, but also worried and overwhelmed about what will happen. These feelings are shared by many NICU parents. The NICU health care providers (also called providers) are here for your baby, and you and your family.