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RNICU Stress and Emotions

Coping with Having a Baby in the RNICU

Having a baby that requires intensive care is often unexpected and frightening and as the parent(s), you probably have many concerns.  Our RNICU staff is very sensitive to your emotions and can help you understand and cope with these feelings.  Our goal is to help you understand the intensive care process and to make things as easy as possible for you.

Common Feelings

As new parents you may feel helpless in the Regional Neonatal Center setting as it can be a strange and scary place.  At times you may feel overwhelmed, or experience feelings of fear, anxiety, loss and grief.  All of these feelings are normal!  Please feel free to discuss your feelings with our staff- they are here to help you. You may also want to consider joining our Parent Group to seek support and comfort from other parents going through similar experiences.

The babies in the Regional Neonatal Center are very special to all of us and our goal is to provide the best possible care to your new baby.

How You Can Help Your Baby

As parents, you are the most important people in your baby's life.  While your baby is in the nursery receiving special care, your attention, love and concern are your baby's greatest need.  To meet these needs, we encourage you to participate in your baby's care whenever possible.  Please ask questions, speak up and express any concerns you may have.
There are many things you can do for your baby.  Your baby will learn to know your voice.  Hearing a familiar voice can be comforting and soothing to your baby.
It is all right to touch your new baby.  It may startle him or her, but it will be OK for the baby.  Your baby's nurse will let you know other things you can do as your baby becomes more stable.

  • Bring tapes with your voice, pictures of family members or those colored by brothers or sisters, and small stuffed animals or toys. Please remember to label everything that you bring to the nursery with your baby's name.

  • Kangaroo Care - This is skin-to-skin positioning of a baby on their mother's or father's chest to promote growth and bonding. It is something only you, the parents, can do for your baby. Ask your baby's nurse to help arrange for this.

  • Direct Donor Blood - If your baby requires a blood transfusion, volunteer blood is provided by the Hudson Valley Blood Bank. If you or your family members would like to donate blood for your baby, it is called Direct Donor Blood. Please ask about this option in the event that transfusion is needed.

As discharge draws near, please inform the staff of the name of your pediatrician, if you have not already. If you need help, our staff can assist you in finding a pediatrician in your community. We will be in contact with your baby's doctor so he or she will know the care your baby received while in the Regional Neonatal Center.