Most babies leave the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and grow into normal, healthy children. Some leave the NICU with temporary or chronic medical conditions. If it becomes clear that your baby will not survive, you will likely want to think about how you want to spend your baby's final days or hours. Grief & Loss has more information.
When your baby is better and stronger, he will graduate from the NICU. That means your baby is:
Although you are happy your baby is getting better, you may be a little nervous about leaving the familiar staff and routines of the NICU. A visit to the step-down nursery before your baby is moved may help ease your concerns.
The step-down nursery is usually quieter than the NICU. There are fewer machines because these babies no longer require the type of intensive care the NICU provides. Your baby needs fewer tests now. But he still needs a lot of care and rest to continue to grow and recover.
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© 2009 March of Dimes Foundation. All rights reserved. The March of Dimes is a not-for-profit organization recognized as tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3). Our mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality.