What to expect in the NICU

Having a new baby is an incredibly exciting and joyful experience, but it can be deeply stressful if that new baby is unwell and needs additional care. Whether they’re born prematurely or arrive with a birth defect or illness, some babies need a little extra help in those early days, weeks, or months. That’s where the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) comes in.

Staff in the NICU are specially trained to care for the sickest of new-borns, giving them the ‘round-the-clock’ medical attention, they need to overcome whatever problems they face in their early days of life. Our NICU staff also appreciate what a worrying time this is for the parents, which is why they will involve mom and dad in both the decision-making and, where possible, the care itself.

24/7 monitoring and care

Sick new-borns need constant monitoring and observation, to ensure vital help is provided when needed. Our NICU staff watch over their patients round-the-clock, so they’re able to spot emerging problems and take swift action to help your baby when they need it most.

All NICU staff at Dubai London Hospital have been trained to the very highest levels and are experts when it comes to neonatal care. By taking this diligent 24/7 approach to monitoring, they minimize the risks to your baby and can act immediately on any worrying signs and symptoms.

Bonding with your baby

We all know how important early bonding is between parents and new-born baby. Mothers and fathers of premature infants can feel they miss out on that immediate skin-to-skin bonding experience because their baby is simply too fragile and needs to be placed in an incubator.

Our NICU staff always strive to keep mom and dad as involved as possible in their new-born’s care, giving them time and space to show their love. In the earliest days, this might involve comforting gestures such as holding your baby’s hands or cupping their feet, those simple but soothing actions will make your baby know you’re there. As your baby gets bigger and stronger, this will progress to kangaroo care, where you can hold your baby against your chest and get that important skin-to-skin contact.

Safe hygiene practices

All new-borns are fragile in their first weeks of life, but sick and premature babies even more so. When you arrive at NICU, you will be asked to follow safe hygiene practices to ensure your baby is protected from germs and infections.

This will mean washing your hands before coming into contact with your baby, or any time you handle other items in between contact. Babies’ immune systems are not yet fully developed as compared to older children and adults, which means they’re more at risk of infections developing and worsening. Anything you can do to shield them from germs will help, so please follow staff guidance when visiting the ward.

Feeding your baby

While breastfeeding is the ultimate goal and the ideal, it’s not always possible with very premature or sick babies. Babies in the NICU can be helped to breastfeed (if deemed possible by the treating physician),  we all know the vital role that breast milk plays in a new-born’s development and growth. Breast milk contains antibodies which help your infant fight infection, as well as those key nutrients they need at the start of their lives.

New moms may be able to express milk which can be given to their baby. When you can’t breastfeed yourself, expressing breast milk is the next best thing. While your baby won’t yet be able to enjoy the skin-to-skin experience, they will at least be getting your milk and all the amazing nutrients it contains to help them grow and thrive.

Moving on to kangaroo care

With the right care and attention, even the tiniest babies can quickly begin to put on weight and get stronger. Once they reach a safe size and are no longer too delicate to handle, you will be able to enjoy kangaroo care with your little one.

This means holding your baby skin-to-skin against your chest, a gesture which helps with bonding and also makes your baby feel loved and secure. Our NICU staff always encourage kangaroo care whenever possible, so as soon as your baby is ready, you’ll be able to be more ‘hands on’ in your care for them.

The best neonatal care from Dubai London Hospital

Dubai London Hospital has a well-equipped and advanced NICU department, so you can be confident your baby is in the safest place. We care for sick and premature babies from the moment they are delivered until the moment they’re well enough for you to take them home, whether that’s days, weeks, or even months.

With our dedicated and expertly trained staff on hand 24/7, there are no breaks in the care your baby receives. We do everything in our power to help your little one grow and develop, ensuring you feel supported and are involved as much as possible in those precious first few weeks and months of life.

For more information on our NICU or to get in touch about your baby’s care, simply contact us by calling is 800 352 today.