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NICU & Neonatal Care

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NICU - What to Expect

Because most preemie and neonatal patients require special attention, Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital ensures you are prepared for your time here. Below you will find information regarding your child's stay at the hospital.

Kangaroo Care

Kangaroo care, also called skin-to-skin care, means holding your baby next to your bare chest. The name comes from the way a mother kangaroo cares for her prematurely born baby by holding her little one close to her body in her pouch.

Kangaroo care is good for both mother and baby. When a mother snuggles her baby against her chest, the baby relaxes, breathes easier, sleeps better and may gain weight more quickly.

Care-by-Parent Rooms

Because most neonatal patients require special care even after discharge, parent education is important. Our seven care-by-parent rooms offer parents an opportunity for "on-the-job" training in which they learn home care techniques and treatments their infant may require.

Parents may take the time they need, spending the night if necessary, until they feel fully prepared to provide the care their baby needs at home.

Neonatal Pain Management

Comfort activities have been shown to help newborns experiencing pain. These activities include gentle handling and movement, holding the newborn snugly next to your body, rocking, swaddling in a blanket, positioning or holding the baby with arms and legs tucked close to the body, keeping the room quiet and calm and providing a pacifier or fingers for sucking.

When pain is strong, medicine may be needed for relief. Pain medicine can be swallowed, applied to the skin, injected into the skin or muscle or given through a small tube placed in a blood vessel (intravenous catheter or IV).

How the medicine is given depends on the medicine itself, the type and location of the pain and the age and abilities of the baby.

Care Conferences

Family sessions with the members of your baby's care team are a good way for parents to help plan their baby's care during hospitalization. Care conferences may be called by anyone who is part of the baby's team, including parents. They can be very helpful for babies with multiple care needs.

Updates on Your Baby's Condition

Our neonatal medical team will make every effort to meet with you in the afternoon to discuss your baby's progress and any issues that may have developed. The team is available daily until 5 p.m.

After 5 p.m., doctors on call staff the nursery, and they may not know all the details of your baby's care. If you can only visit at night, please let the nurse know. We can make special arrangements to schedule an evening meeting when your doctor is on call.

Neonatal Care in Greater Houston

Memorial Hermann's network of hospitals includes a suite of level II and level IV NICUs at convenient suburban locations in the Houston area.