If your baby has to spend time in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), a multidisciplinary team of experts provides care. Here are some of the specialists committed to helping your baby get a healthy start to life.
A neonatologist is a pediatrician with a specialty in caring for sick babies. A medical director oversees your baby’s care and directs a team of neonatologists. Neonatologists are on the unit or are on call 24 hours per day. A physician examines your baby daily.
Pediatricians are available around the clock. Pediatricians collaborate with neonatologists to care for your baby and are experienced at taking care of sick babies.
Neonatal Nurse Practitioners
A neonatal nurse practitioner is a specially trained registered nurse who manages the medical care of sick and premature babies.
Our experienced and specially trained nurses provide care for you and your baby and work closely with the neonatologist and other members of your baby’s care team.
Clinical Nurse Specialist
A clinical nurse specialist is a registered nurse with a master’s of science degree in clinical nursing. Serving as a resource for NICU nurses, clinical nurse specialists ensure ongoing staff education and develop programs and protocols.
NICU Lactation Consultant
A lactation consultant is specially trained in lactation and breastfeeding provides support to breastfeeding moms.
Respiratory therapists assist the nurses and doctors if your baby has breathing problems. They operate ventilators and other respiratory equipment and make sure your baby receives excellent respiratory care.
NICU Social Workers
Social workers provide support for parents of NICU infants. Because they work closely with the medical team and are aware of your baby’s condition, social workers can provide information about services for your child, assist with hospital procedures and help answer financial and other questions. If you wish to talk with someone who has had a similar experience, the social worker can also put you in touch with another parent.
Physical therapists may help you with handling and feeding your baby throughout his or her development. The therapist will help you monitor and evaluate your baby’s progress.
At some Sutter NICUs, “cuddlers,” specially trained volunteers, come to the NICU to hold and comfort babies.
Your baby may work with other specialists, too. These can include infant mental health counselors, developmental psychologists and child life specialists.