Selfcare tips

While the NICU is caring for your baby, who is caring for you?

Spending even a short time in the NICU may be stressful. The NICU staff is concerned not only for your baby's well-being, but for yours as well. Babies need healthy, confident families to take them home. Emotions in the NICU are different for each person; you may find it is like being on a roller coaster, up one minute and down the next. The uncertainty is not easy to deal with, along with all your "outside the NICU" life commitments. Your bedside nurse, charge nurse, social worker, lactation consultant, parent coordinator and other consultant(s) can help with:

  • Emotional support: professional counseling or just a shoulder to lean on
  • Financial guidance: from learning about social assistance to finding out about community and/or hospital resources
  • Knowledge: we'll help you get your questions answered by the best person

Here are some tips

  • You are not alone in this NICU experience. Please ask for help.
  • All families in the NICU can ask to see a social worker. They are part of the DAN Women & Babies Program. They offer a significant source of support and practical help too. You are encouraged to meet and talk with them.
  • Talk to our parent coordinator. As someone who has been through the NICU as a parent, the coordinator can offer support and help from the perspective of personal, not clinical, experience.
  • Attend our regular parent get-togethers in the parent lounge. Dates and times will be posted on the notice boards in the parent corridor. Talking with other NICU families can be a source of comfort, and we also offer regular education sessions as part of these get-togethers. 

Bottom line: The best way for the NICU staff to help you is for you to help us. Talk with the nurse caring for your baby or the charge nurse. If we are aware of the issues you may be dealing with, in and outside of the NICU, the staff will do our best to help find solutions.