Family presence in the NICU

It is crucial that we keep our patients, staff and hospital environment safe. We are limiting all visitors to our hospital sites during the COVID-19 pandemic. NICU may have tighter restrictions in place if the number of babies in the unit makes physical distancing difficult.  We understand this is difficult, but it is essential for the safety of everyone within our hospital sites, including our vulnerable patients and essential frontline staff. Please speak directly with the care team in the NICU for the latest information. For more details, click here.

KGH believes in family-centered care, meaning we encourage parental visits to promote attachment between you and your baby. Our mandate is to help you fully participate in your baby's care while they are in the hospital. This participation promotes bonding, improved parental self-esteem, and increases lactation especially when associated with “kangaroo care." Parents are welcome anytime, including report time which is 6:30  to 7:30 both morning and evening. You may coordinate participation in morning rounds with your infant(s) nurse. 

We recognize that your family members and friends provide you with support as well. Visitors are welcome 24 hours a day upon invitation of the parents and must be accompanied by one of the parents. Only two visitors are allowed at the bedside at a time (not including parents). Your new baby's siblings are also welcome, as long as they are properly supervised and infection free. 

Leaving the hospital without your baby is very difficult to do, especially if you live far away. However, since your baby still needs your love and attention, we encourage you to visit as much as possible. Your visits will help you and your baby get to know each other and you will be involved in feeding, bathing and changing your baby as soon as possible.

Family Integrated Care

Family Integrated Care is the philosophy that guides how we provide care for infants in our NICU. Its aim is to partner you with your nurse and the medical team to ensure you feel confident and comfortable caring for your infant. 

As a parent in the NICU, you are not a visitor. You are your child’s voice and a vital part of your child’s care team. We can provide excellent, state-of-the-art medical and technical care, as well as comfort, warmth and affection for your baby, but your child needs your care too. You provide love and devotion to your child that only a parent can. Only you can sing your favourite songs, do Kangaroo Care, provide breastmilk, breastfeed, bottle feed and cuddle or “hand-hug” with your child in a way that is unique to you. Some children need the NICU in order to survive but all children in the NICU need a parent’s loving touch to thrive.

We encourage you to interact with your child and be involved with your child’s care as much as possible. Our nurses understand the unique medical needs of infants and can teach parents to understand how best to care for their babies. Activities you can do include (but are not limited to) taking temperatures, changing diapers, or feeding through naso-gastric tubes. We encourage your questions and we want you to know our team is here to support you and your family for as long as you are with us.

We hope that by the time your baby is transferred to another hospital, or discharged home, you will feel more secure taking care of and understanding the needs of your baby. Through the Family Integrated Care program you are encouraged to take part in the following:

Morning Medical Rounds

We feel that if you are present and participate in medical rounds, you will have a better understanding of the care that is provided to your baby. These rounds occur every day in the morning.

Parenting Your Baby

With the support provided by your baby’s nurse you will learn to feel more comfortable caring for your baby and holding your baby skin-to-skin as much as possible. The medical team, especially the nurses, will continue to act as coaches to assist you in taking over most the care of your baby as your baby gets better and closer to discharge or transfer to another hospital.

Education Sessions

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday every week from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. in the NICU Family Room. Topics range from infection control, medications, developmental care, chronic lung disease etc.

Infant CPR offered every Tuesday night at 6 p.m. No cost for this service. Ask your bedside nurse to enroll you and your family members.  Class is on Labour and Delivery, Connell 5 Conference Room.