NICU Guide for Families

Please feel welcome to the Brandon NICU as part of our health care team. We want you to feel comfortable being here and helping to care for your baby. Your nurse will guide you in the care you can provide as a parent, which will likely increase over your time here.

We work to create an environment that is safe, clean, calm, quiet, and healing to help your baby recover. The Parent Host, your nurse, the social worker or other members of your care team will suggest ways we can work together to achieve this.

For your convenience, we have established this guide to support you and your family during your time in the NICU.

Transportation to the NICU from outside Mott Children’s Hospital

Babies may be transported either by ground (ambulance) or by air (helicopter or plane).When it becomes apparent that a baby will need this extra care, a transport team is assembled. This team consists of Doctors, Nurses, Respiratory Therapists, and specially trained nurses called NNP's (Neonatal Nurse Practitioner). They bring special packs that contain equipment and medicines needed to care for babies, including a transport incubator to keep babies warm and monitor their vital signs.

Parking

Parking is available in the Patient/Visitor parking ramps. Parking validation is available at all Security Welcome Desks, including long term parking passes for parents. Visit our parking services page for more information.

Getting to the NICU

The NICU is located on Level 8 in Mott Children’s Hospital. All parents and visitors are required to stop at a Security Welcome Desk. These are located at the entrances to Mott on Level 2 and Level 3, as well as all inpatient floors. Guest Service Specialists (GSS) are available at all Welcome Desks and are responsible for parent/visitor identification and badging, health screening, and customer service needs. All parents and visitors will be asked health screening questions and we request sick visitors/children do not visit. Wheelchairs are available.

What to expect when your baby arrives in the NICU

As soon as a baby arrives in the NICU, some procedures are performed to help monitor his or her condition. Wires are also attached to the baby's chest, with sticky disks, to monitor the baby's heart rate, respirations, and blood pressure. A saturation probe is wrapped around either the baby's foot or hand to monitor how well the baby is tolerating the support we are providing. An intravenous (IV) catheter (a small plastic tube inserted into a vein) may be started, or if the baby already has in IV, we will connect it to our intravenous fluids and pumps. An umbilical catheter (a small plastic tube) may be placed through the umbilical cord. This is done to make blood drawing easier and also to monitor vital signs. The baby may also require help with breathing either through use of a ventilator (breathing machine) or nasal cannula.

Meals and dining

Guest meal trays are available to families and guests for a nominal charge by calling 734-232-FOOD. You will receive a bill in the mail for the meal trays after your infant is discharged. Insurance/Medicaid does not pay for this service. Breastfeeding mothers receive guest meals at no charge. There is also an after-hours meal service available between the hours of 5-10 pm by calling 734-763-2525.

A nutrition area is located in the Family Lounge. Families are welcome to help themselves to coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.

Vending machines, the cafeteria and convenience food may be found throughout the hospital. Visit our dining options page to learn more about other dining options available.

Food storage

Food and beverages may be kept in the room refrigerator on the top shelf only. For safety reasons your food and beverages need to be stored in closed and dated containers. An additional refrigerator located in the Family Lounge is also available for your food storage.

Milk storage

We offer a Milk Room for you to store breast milk that you pump for your baby. The Milk Room is located on the 8th floor, the same floor as the Newborn ICU. The Parent Host or GSS can help you locate the Milk Room; where you will take your breast milk that you pump for your baby. For your convenience, there is a breast pump located in your baby’s room and/or there is a separate pumping room near the Security Welcome Desk. Pumping supplies are available in the pumping room. Lactation Consultants are available to assist you.

Lodging

One or two parents may stay in the baby’s room overnight (exceptions arranged through the social worker). Siblings are not permitted to spend the night. 

There are many local hotels and motels near the hospital, as well as the Med Inn – a hotel located inside the main University Hospital, and Ronald McDonald House (certain criteria required and this is arranged through the social worker).  Visit our hotel accommodations page for more information about lodging, or call 800-544-8684.

Preventing infections 

Hand washing is extremely important. Please use the hand sanitizer bottles and/or the hand washing sink in your baby’s room. It is important for everyone, including parents and family members, to clean their hands before touching your baby and whenever they enter or leave your baby’s room, in order to decrease the spread of germs in our environment.

Calling the NICU to check on your baby

While you are recovering in the hospital, or when you are at home, but unable to come to see your baby, please feel free to call us. Parents are invited to phone the NICU at anytime, however your baby’s nurse may be unable to speak with you during shift change (7:00-7:30 am, 3:00-3:30 pm, 7:00-7:30 pm, and 11:00-11:30 pm).

To protect your baby’s privacy, staff will not take phone calls or give information about your baby to friends or family. Please ask them to contact you directly for updates.

  • Front desk phone number: 734-763-4111
  • Toll-free number, for parents only: 1-800-521-4369

Cell phone use in the NICU

We ask that you set your ringer to silent/vibrate and to please talk in quiet tones at all times, in all locations. For safety reasons, your baby’s care team will have their phone ringers turned on.

Television

To help maintain this healing environment, we ask that the TV volume on the pillow speaker be set low. You are welcome to quietly use a portable device or to use the TV in the family lounge. Staff will request the TV be turned off in certain situations: daily patient rounds/shift reports, parent education, and/or during care activities for your baby. We request no gaming systems be used in the NICU (X-Box, Wii, Playstation).

Computers, Internet and Wireless Internet

The television in your room is part of our Get Well Network, which also offers you internet access using the provided keyboard. The hospital also offers wireless internet, and there are computers available for your use in the Family Center on Level 2. Learn more about the Get Well Network.

Visitors 

Visitation in the NICU is open 24 hours a day. There may be occasions during surgical or other procedures and shift report when you may be asked to leave the patient rooms. Brothers and sisters may also visit if they are healthy.

To protect pediatric and obstetric patients from exposure to childhood illness and other infectious diseases, all children under age 14 will be screened at the Security Welcome Desk before visiting the NICU.

We ask that no more than four (4) people be in your baby’s room, quietly, at a time. Other visitors may wait in the Family Lounge. Visit our visitors page for more information for visitors and guests.

Visitor plan

Soon after admission, parents are asked to fill out a “Parent’s Choice Plan” form, listing who may visit their baby in the NICU. A copy of your visiting plan is kept at your baby’s bedside and a copy is yours. If there are specific visitor restrictions, please bring your copy to the Guest Services staff at the Security Welcome Desk so they can note the restrictions. You may change your plan at any time.

Curtains and doors 

So that we can see your baby and you can see us; please draw the curtain only as far as the sliding door opening. Depending on the needs of your baby, we may ask that the door stay open so that we can hear your baby’s monitors, pumps, and ventilators. 

At any time, if you or your baby needs assistance, please press the nurse button on the pillow speaker at your baby’s bedside. You will be connected to the clerk who will direct your request to the appropriate person.

Personal belongings

All personal belongings and bedding should be kept in the wardrobe, the cabinet, and drawers under the couch.

Family support

The NICU team includes social workers who meet with all families to provide emotional support and referrals to community and financial resources. In addition, Parent Hosts who have also had a baby in the NICU, are available to support and assist you. A Parent Host will take you on a short tour of our unit before the birth of your baby or as soon after your arrival as possible. She will provide you with information to help make your stay easier and to give you an opportunity to ask any non-medical questions you may have. There is a white Parent Information binder in each patient room that we encourage you to review. Visit our support and resources page for more information about support that is available to our families.

There is a Family Center on the 2nd floor that is available to your family as a place to spend time away from the unit. Visit the Family Center page to learn more about the programs and services offered. The weekly Family Center schedule is also posted on the Parent Host door in the Family Lounge.