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Infants born prematurely or ill spend anywhere from a few hours to many weeks in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs).
Although NICU stays are stressful for parents, the continuous monitoring and excellent bedside care can be reassuring. Leaving the NICU when an infant is able to eat, grow, and develop safely can be both exciting and nerve-racking.
Ask questions. Understand your infant’s needs to anticipate and avoid problems. Before going home, select a primary care physician (PCP) you like and who is comfortable caring for medically complex infants. Prior to discharge, schedule follow-up appointments and fill any prescriptions or recommended vitamins. Obtain a car seat or possibly a car bed, depending on your infant’s needs.
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Thompson LA, Carter CG. What Parents Need to Know About Leaving the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. JAMA Pediatr. 2021;175(1):112. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.5045
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