if your baby is sent to the NICU, your first question probably will be: What is this place? With equipment designed for infants and medical staff specially trained in newborn care, the NICU is an intensive care unit created for sick newborns who need specialized treatment.
Sometimes the NICU is also called:
- A special care nursery
- An intensive care nursery
- Newborn intensive care
Babies may be sent to the NICU if:
- They're born prematurely
- Problems happen during their delivery
- They show signs of a health issue in the first few days of life
Only very young babies (or babies with a condition linked to being born prematurely) are treated in the NICU — they're usually infants who haven't gone home from the hospital yet after being born. How long they'll stay in the unit depends on the severity of their condition.