How to advocate for your baby in the NICU

Philippe Friedlich, MD, explains the best way for parents to advocate for their baby in the NICU and recommends important questions to ask their doctors
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How to advocate for your baby in the NICU

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If your baby is admitted to the intensive care for newborn, you should ask your doctor, "why is my baby being admitted to the NICU?" It may not be clear. In some cases, it may because your baby is premature and needs to be closely observed. In other cases, it may be because your baby may have some difficulty in the delivery room and also must be supervised more closely. So one of the first things that parents should do is ask to talk to their physician and ask them, "why is my baby being admitted to the NICU?" The best way to advocate for your baby is to ask questions. If you cannot think of questions right away, write your questions on a piece of paper and give them to your doctor or nurse. The other way to advocate for your baby is to come to the NICU. At the beginning, the NICU is a scary place. There is a lot of babies, a lot of commotion, a lot of noise. But you need to be present. Your baby knows that you're there. And the best way to advocate for your baby is to come as often as you can. With time, you will learn the intricacy of the NICU, but in time also the staff will really incorporate you in the care of your baby. And the best way for you to care for your baby is to be present on a regular basis. With time, your baby will be healthier, and your incorporation of care will be more significant, such as when to feed the baby or when to hold the baby. Those are important things you can do to ensure that your baby has the best possible outcome

Philippe Friedlich, MD, explains the best way for parents to advocate for their baby in the NICU and recommends important questions to ask their doctors

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Philippe Friedlich, MD

Neonatologist

Philippe Friedlich, MD, MS Epi, MBA is the Associate Director and Division Chief of the Center for Fetal and Neonatal Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, as well as the Medical Director of the hospital’s Newborn & Infant Critical Care Unit (NICCU). Dr. Friedlich is a professor of Pediatrics and Surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.   

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