Care for Your Baby
Your neonatologist and neonatal nurse practitioner team routinely diagnose and treat conditions affecting newborns. This includes conditions such as prematurity, breathing disorders, birth defects, surgical needs and infections. Throughout your baby’s stay in the NICU, the provider team works together to coordinate, oversee and adjust the specific treatment your baby receives.
Neonatologists and neonatal nurse practitioners also commonly assist babies in the delivery room. If special tests or procedures are needed, the neonatologist and the neonatal nurse practitioner are both experienced in performing these. If additional specialists are needed, your provider team will ensure they are included in the plan development and care of your baby.
Meet The Provider Team
The neonatal provider team includes neonatologists (doctors), neonatal nurse practitioners and medical residents (doctors studying this specialty). A neonatologist is a pediatrician who has additional special training in the care of newborns and infants with health problems or birth defects. A neonatal nurse practitioner is an advanced practice nurse. Both neonatologists and neonatal nurse practitioners are board-certified.
What Can I Expect From My Provider Team?
Our provider team will be caring for your baby in the hospital, working closely with the residents, bedside nurses and support staff to provide safe, quality care. Our team of specialists will discuss your baby’s progress and goals each morning and evening. A neonatologist will see your baby at least once a day. A neonatologist is in house 24/7 along with neonatal nurse practitioners and residents.
Services and Specialties We Provide
Neonatal social workers can provide you with emotional support and links to community and financial resources. Discharge planners will help you get ready for your baby’s discharge and connect you with resources to help you and your baby as he/she goes home. Chaplains are available to help meet your spiritual and religious needs, as well as to provide emotional support. The March of Dimes NICU Family Support® Specialist is available to provide you with information, support and access to educational classes and the chance to meet other parents who have a baby in the NICU.
We also help with:
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Respiratory therapy
- Lactation support
- Child life specialists
- Nutrition services
- Access to other pediatric subspecialties
Ultimately, your baby will be ready to go home when the doctor determines it is safe. At that time, a discharge coordinator will meet with you to refer you to services and resources your baby may need at home. Babies are usually ready to go home when:
- They can take all of their feedings by breast or by bottle
- They are steadily gaining weight
- They can stay warm in an open crib
- They can safely breathe on their own
- If required, they pass a car seat test to make sure they can safely ride home in your car
MedNow See My Baby
When medical needs separate a newborn baby from their mother, a new technology at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital can be used to bridge that gap. MedNow, Spectrum Heath’s approach to telehealth, now helps to keep mom and baby connected even when they are miles apart. This service is available to mothers who are medically required to stay at one of Spectrum Health's regional hospitals.