"He (our doctor) was very, very straight with us every single time. It was very helpful."
Spending Time with Your Baby
We believe that parents and other family members are very important in helping a baby to get well. We also believe that it is helpful for parents to be able to have those people who are supportive to them spend time with them and/or the baby if they desire. Therefore, we ask parents to fill out a "Parent's Choice" form as soon as possible after your baby is admitted to the Brandon NICU. You may change your plan at any time. For reasons of safety and privacy, we ask that you and your baby's visitors remain at your baby's bedside while in the unit. Please feel free to bring a camera or video camera with you to take pictures of your baby. Parents tell us that these pictures become very important keepsakes and can help you document your baby's progress.
Siblings and Children Visitors
Brothers and sisters are also an important part of your baby's family. The arrival of a new baby is an exciting time for the other children in your family. It can also be very difficult if the baby requires special care at birth. They need to be told simply, but honestly, about the baby's birth and any problems. Children under the age of 14 years may visit with the parents' permission if they are healthy, i.e. no colds/flu etc. Each time you visit you must stop at the clerk's desk and the clerk will ask you a few health screening questions before you visit. This is done to reduce the risk of exposing your baby to illnesses. Children will not be allowed to come in the NICU if they have been exposed to measles/mumps/rubella/chicken pox within the last 4 weeks, or have had these diseases within the last two weeks.
Any child under 14 years of age needs to be with an adult while in patient rooms or in the waiting areas. Toys and videos are available to help occupy their time. Working on projects for the new baby is one way to involve brothers and sisters. It can give them a sense of pride and of participation at a time when they may otherwise feel jealous and neglected. A young child can make drawings or get well cards to decorate the incubator. A tape can be made of their voices talking to the baby or telling stories. They can also be involved in picking out a small toy, stuffed animal or family photograph for the bedside.
While involving your other children in visits to the nursery may help them form an attachment to the new baby, it can also be a scary place for a young child. You may want to talk to the nurse or social worker about how to best prepare your child for the visit. A video created to introduce children to the Brandon NICU is available for loan from the Parent Host.
The Family Resource Center is on the 8th floor and is available to your family as a place to spend time away from the unit and some sibling support is available in the FRC. There is a play deck for use during good weather. For hours and more information: http://www.med.umich.edu/mott/frc/index.htm
Maintaining a Safe and Healthy Environment for Your Baby
One of the most important ways to reduce the spread of diseases is careful handwashing. Therefore, we require that you and your baby's visitors stop at the sink. Just inside the door to your baby's room and wash your hands with water and the special soap provided.
As part of our infant security system we ask that you and your visitors stop at the Brandon NICU front desk and identify yourselves prior to entering your baby's room. The clerk will call into the room to announce your visit. If a surgical procedure is taking place in your baby's room you may be asked to wait until it is completed.
Because space in the NICU is limited, we ask that you have no more than two adults at your baby's bedside at a time. (If children are accompanying you and/or your baby's visitors, they are not included in this number.) When you enter the room, your baby's nurse will update you on your baby's progress and help you with your questions about his/her care.
We feel that parents are very important to the care of their baby, so we make every effort to avoid interfering with or interrupting the time you spend with them. There may be occasions when admissions, surgical or other procedures on your baby or other babies are being done that require limited access to the NICU. During this time, we ask that you wait in the Brandon Waiting Room. Your baby's nurse, the unit host or clerk will let you know when you can come back in.
The nurse's change of shift report occurs from 7:30-8am, 3:30-4pm, 7:30-8pm, 11:30-12midnight. In order to ensure confidentiality and privacy about your baby and the other babies' condition, visitors may be asked to leave patient rooms while this exchange of patient information is taking place. Parents or designated guardians may remain in the room during shift report.
Soon after your baby is admitted to the Brandon NICU, you will find it helpful to go to the Admitting/Business Office to make arrangements for your baby's hospital bill. This is a good place to find out if there are any programs that will help pay charges that your insurance doesn't cover. The Admitting/Business Office is located on the second floor of the Maternal Child Health Center. There is someone available to speak with you between 8am-5pm, Monday through Friday. The office telephone is 734-764-6566.
Some babies, both those born prematurely & full-term, need special help to adjust to their new lives. They need different kinds of care than is normally given. Your doctor asked that your baby be admitted to the Brandon Intensive Care Nursery for this special care.