The NICU and COVID-19

Visitation Is Limited

These times are scary and the unknown is even scarier. We are being told to practice social distancing, schools have closed, and our friends are working from home. We don’t know if or when things will return to somewhat of a normal life. Hospitals have enacted strict visitation policies, they are taking temperatures and doing a basic health screen on everyone that enters the building, including staff. The NICU I work in has limited their visiting hours and limited to two visitors per family (mom and a support person). My heartaches for you Mama, but please know that we are doing this for the safety of our littlest lives.

 

Making The Best of An Unfortunate Time

Luckily in our unit we have the NICview system, a secure webcam that allows families to watch their babies 24/7. NICU nurses are also really good at creating memories and rest assured that we will be on overdrive with pictures and artwork to document any milestones that your baby makes during these limited visiting times. I am always just a phone call away and if you need to reach out to me several times during the day or overnight because you can’t be here, do it. Your pregnancy or maybe your delivery didn’t go as planned and the NICU probably wasn’t in your plans. Or if it was, a pandemic absolutely was not. I know you’re feeling so many feelings right now and that is okay. If you need to vent, I will listen. Ask me your questions, tell me your fears. I am sure we have the same ones. I will do my best to answer those questions and ease those fears. When you can be here, we will make the most of your visit by holding, reading to your baby, talking to your baby, giving your baby bath, and participating in his cares.

We Will Be There

For now visitation may be limited, but try not worry, your baby is not only receiving the best care, but lots of love, we will hold him, we will console her, we will be the best we can be for them when you can’t be here. Like you, I hope and pray that this time passes quickly and we can resume our regular lives again. That you can come back into the unit and be here much as you want, but until then stay healthy, try to stay positive, and trust me and the rest of the NICU team to provide a loving, safe, and healthy environment for your baby.

 

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Nikki was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, she has lived in Seattle and Portland. After visiting New Orleans, she fell in love with the city, and she and her husband decided to take a chance and move from the PNW to NOLA. Nikki has two kids, Amaya (15) and Tyson (12), she and her husband Dave have been married for 16 years, they live on the Northshore. Nikki works full time as a NICU nurse. Nikki and her family have fully embraced the culture of New Orleans, while they live on the Northshore, they play in New Orleans as often as they can. As a member of New Orleans Mom, she hopes to bring the perspective of the veteran mom and life with big kids and teenagers.

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