Stories about: neonatal intensive care unit

After the NICU: How to become an outpatient visit guru

  • Twins side-by-side in the NICU
    Drew and Emma, 2008

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Boston Children’s Hospital is unlike any other place. In the NICU, a team of top-notch providers cares for your child around-the-clock. Once home, you must quickly adapt to caring for your fragile baby on your own, which includes navigating the world of outpatient visits.

Our twins, Drew and Emma, were born nine weeks early. After a long stay at Boston Children’s NICU, my husband Jon and I began juggling multiple outpatient visits with Emma. Here are some tips and tricks we learned along the way.

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Surgery to remove blood clot saves London’s kidneys

London, who had a large blood clot in her aorta, recovers after surgery.Todd and Lindsey Taylor had barely settled in at home in Syracuse, New York with their new baby, London, when their world turned upside down.

London, who had seemed perfectly healthy at birth, woke up nine days later vomiting and struggling to breathe. They rushed her to their local children’s hospital.

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Inside the NICU: Shining light on the healing power of touch

Baby girl in NICU with mother
Abigail underwent open-heart surgery and received care in Boston Children’s Cardiac Intensive Care Unit

Traveling through Boston Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), you feel the warmth of natural light and a soothing sense of calm.

One mom, leaning delicately over her son’s bedside, caresses his forehead and gently whispers a lullaby. Only a few steps away, a father rests in a chair with his tiny son on his chest. Lifesaving technology fills the 24-bed NICU and a reassuring team of specialized physicians, nurses and Child Life Specialists monitor, treat and embrace their delicate patients.

Nearly 15 million babies, about 1 in 10, are born prematurely each year and in many cases, require complex medical and surgical care. Equally critical to preemie and newborn health is the healing power of touch, experts say.

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The gift of grandmothers

Nancy and Susan with Sophie at Boston Children’s Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

Nancy sits in a tiny hospital room in New York City, reading to Sophie, her infant granddaughter who is quarantined while she battles a respiratory virus.

She keeps vigil over Sophie so her daughter, Katie, can safely spend time with Sophie’s twin sister, Maddie, and her son-in-law can work to support the family. “There was no one to talk to and nothing to do,” remembers Nancy, “So for days, I just sat with Sophie and read her the A.A. Milne poems my mother used to read to me.”

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