NICU Restrictions

Are you part of the NICU club? Do you have a child who is still struggling with the effects of being born too soon from preeclampsia? Share your concerns and stories here among parents who have been there.
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Re : NICU Restrictions

Postby bonnie » Tue Jan 20, 2004 06:32 pm

It's funny that you brought up this topic. DH and I NEVER watch ER, but were "flipping" through the channels and stopped when we realized it was a NICU. We watched for maybe a minute, but the scene was when the parents were there listening to the drs arguing about who was going to call whom/when, etc. We INSTANTLY said "hey, we couldn't stay during "rounds".

To answer the question:
1) we were required to scrub
2) we were required to don a gown
3) we could visit/call any time of day, except during "shift" changes which were 2 times a day. --I can't begin to say how many times I called in the middle of night as I sat in bed, pumping!
4) we could hold Yoni once he was stabilized (1st time was when he was 48 hours old) for a few minutes at a time
5) only 2 visitors at a time, and one needed to be a parent

I must say that our NICU was amazing too. I've decided that these (all NICUs, I guess) are some of the most patient doctors and nurses there are. They not only are dealing with the babies, but also with parents who are clearly upset about their babies being there, no matter what the reason (I guess our babies wouldn't be in a space that's costing thousands of dollars a day if they didn't need to be [;)]). I too must have asked the same question at least 3 or four times. Not once did they put off my questions.

My peri told my dh and I to go out for a nice dinner/movie while Yoni was in the NICU since "these are some of the most experienced and expensive babysitters there are". Of course, I felt too guilty to do it, but we did go for dinner a couple times between visiting him.

Yoni's ima

Yonatan 7/10/2002 (35 weeks PE)

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Re : NICU Restrictions

Postby julie f » Tue Jan 20, 2004 06:20 pm

I think as far as NICU's go, we were lucky as well. The nurses and doctors were so compassionate and patient. Zach's doctor explained everything to me at least twice - once while I was on mag and more than once when I was off...

We were able to visit any hours except during shift change (one hour in the morning and one in the evening). Only two visitors at a time and one had to be a parent. They would take calls from us at all hours and, Zach's doctor asked to be paged with any questions/concerns we might have if he wasn't there at the time. He always responded immediately.

We weren't ever allowed to hold Zach until he was going to heaven, but the nurses always encouraged us to talk to him, sing to him or put our fingertips on his little hands. The night that he died, the nurse helped me change his little diaper and swaddle him and then I was finally able to hold him, my sweet angel.

I am so thankful for those nurses and his doctor. I can't imagine having to deal with uncompassionate or impatient people at a time like that.

Julie (26)
Zachary James, 7/22/03-7/27/03, born at 26wks - severe pe

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Re : NICU Restrictions

Postby sarab » Tue Jan 20, 2004 06:17 pm

Aimee, it sounds like your NICU was a lot like ours. There were no set visiting hours (some nights I would go visit at 3:00am if I couldn't sleep), we never had to wear gowns for any reason, and anyone could visit so long as me or DH was with them. We weren't allowed to wear masks, their feeling was that if you are feeling sick enough to ask for a mask, then don't come. There was a half hour period in the morning and another at night when we all had to go out during the nurses shift changes, but we could stay during doctor's rounds, in fact they encouraged it. We were there during the summer, so I would imagine that there are tougher restrictions during the winter months.

I was very impressed with our NICU, I thought that everyone there was GREAT! It is a very large teaching hospital, so I expected it to be worse than it was. There are, on average, 50-55 babies there at once, but I never really felt "lost in the crowd". Too bad I can't say the same about MY care at the same hospital...[}:)]

Sara, 23
DH, Scott, 25
Maggie Lylas, 6/9/03, 29 weeks, severe pre-e

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Re : NICU Restrictions

Postby annegarrett » Tue Jan 20, 2004 05:42 pm

I remember when they tried to make my husband leave the room after my emergency C-section (AFTER he had watched them remove my internal organs and remove the baby) because there were too many people in the room. He got a little...shall we say...testy...and announced that he had just watched them "eviscerate" his wife and he thought he could handle a lousy BP check and he was not going anywhere. I think sometimes you just have to insist and stand your ground. I don't know--but that is a place to start. When they mention calling security--then maybe step aside. ;) I think you have every right to be there...I would at least attempt to assert that right.

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Anne Garrett
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Preeclampsia Foundation

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Re : NICU Restrictions

Postby angelical » Tue Jan 20, 2004 05:06 pm

I think our experience was maybe "down the middle" of what I have heard of.

They had set visiting hours; the NICU was cleared during doctors rounds; and there was a max of 2 visitors (a parent could bring anyone; a grandparent could not 'bring visitors' but they could visit without a parent).

But we could talk freely with most of the nurses (a couple were, well, nevermind) and our resident in charge of Aaron. We only had to wear gowns when we were holding Aaron. We could call the NICU anytime, but they discouraged calls during shift changes.


Sharel & Kevin
Aaron - 28 weeker
Born 5/2/02 due to preeclampsia & HELLP

Our miracle boy is doing great!!

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NICU Restrictions

Postby aimeejane » Tue Jan 20, 2004 04:01 pm

A post on the ER thread had me did our NICUs compare? I've been very surprised at the broad range of differences from hospital to hospital.

I think we were lucky; we seemed to be in one of the more understanding facilities. Maybe because it's a smaller hospital?

We delivered at a smaller Atlanta-area hospital (but with a Level IV NICU) - I loved it. There were no set visiting hours. One nurse said to me, "If you wake up needing to see your son at 3am, come on over." There were no restrictions on who could visit, either. Just two people at a time, one of whom had to be a parent. Even our chiropractor came to see Nicky! Obviously, we had to scrub up thoroughly, but we weren't required to wear gowns, and we only wore masks if we were sick. We were never shooed away from our child or asked to leave.

We had some communication issues when Kalen was in there [:(!], but for the most part it was a pretty positive experience, especially as a "home away from home" for the two months Nicky lived there.

Aimee - 28
Dh - 30
Ds Nicky - 3/24/00 (28 wks - eclampsia)
Ds Kalen - 7/10/03 (36 weeks - preeclampsia)

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