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Do nurses in NICU hold infants?

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 
My DH and I were talking and he said he noticed that nurses do not hold infants in our NICU and he thinks that it is because it may interfere with babies bonding with their parents. He's right because I haven't seen any nurses spend time holding infants there but wondered if any one of you have seen nurses spend time holding infants in your NICU?
post #2 of 45
I was only in there a couple of hours (she was released out of NICU after about 16 hours), but the only time I observed a nurse holding my baby was when she was handing her to me to breastfeed her. The other babies were being held by their own mothers or in their bassinets.
post #3 of 45
In our NICU it really depended on the nurse and the baby's status. My dd was in there for 3 mos and I never saw any nurses holding her other than for feeds. However, I did observe other, usually fussy babes being soothed. Personally, I wouldn't have minded if someone had rocked my dd. I have 2 other kids and lived an hr from the hospital so I couldn't be there as much as I wanted to be. My only concern would have been that it was the dead of winter and I suppose she might have been exposed to more "germs" if she'd been held by the nurses frequently? My dd is FAR more attached to me now at 3 than my other 2 children were so I don't think in the long run it would have done any bonding "damage" if someone had held my daughter...just my 2c.
post #4 of 45
My dd is in the NICU now and Ive seen nurses hold babies. They hold them when they feed them and the parents cant be there. The mom of the baby next to dd is a teenager who lives an hour away, so she can only be there 2 times a week, and there are a few other cases like that, where the parents cant be there every day.
I like knowing that the nurses would comfort my baby and Ive seen them do it to dd, rubbing her head, talking softly to her. I feel such relief in knowing that even if Im not there, they will give her the tender care she needs!!
post #5 of 45
To be perfectly honest, the nurses in our NICU were way too busy.

They did have volunteers come in to be "baby holders" for those that were healthy enough and the parents couldn't be there a lot. I actually signed permission forms to allow this for my dd DD was not held very often by these wonderful volunteers but the very few times I came in and she was being held, I really appreciated it (it gave me a few minutes to go pump without guilt!).

There was also a night nurse who loved my dd and she would walk her around the NICU so dd could "look" around, lol.

FWIW, the "baby holder" job was a competitive position! There was a long wait list for those few hours and the volunteers were thoroughly screened. Every person who was not family and had contact with the babies had to have background checks, certified healthy by a doctor, and have several personal references. Plus, as I mentioned, the parents had to sign forms granting permission.
post #6 of 45
Our hospital has volunteer who come in to rock and hold the babies in the NICU. Unfortunately the nurses are often too busy to spend as much time holding the babies as they really need. If the parents can be available to rock and hold the infants alot that's great but in some circumstances parents go back to work right away so that they can save time off for when the babies come home. Therefore volunteers provide rocking and holding when the parents can't.
post #7 of 45
Thread Starter 
That's interesting. I would have liked if there are any volunteers holding my twins because I wouldn't want them to cry it out if they needed some affections and I hope that the nurses at my NICU would comfort my babies if they heard them crying. They did not ask me to fill out any forms about this type of thing so I guess my NICU doesn't have any volunteers holding babies there.

I visit them everyday and I still feel its not enough but I have to be home because I do have a 6 years old child who also do need me. Its hard being torn apart between two new babies at the hospital and a child at home. I can't wait for my babies to come home so I don't have to "divide" myself. I've got to be patient though.
post #8 of 45
OMG that's so sad! I can't imagine the NICU nurses not holding the infants. They love on the babies all the time at our NICU. There are a lot of parents that can't be up there very often and I don't even want to think of what it would do to those poor babies developmentally if they weren't held by the nurses when their parents were absent or when they needed to be soothed. How do the nurses feed them if they don't hold them? My daughter was in the NICU for 8mos and she had 1:1 or 1:2 nursing care always. I'd frequently come up to find one of the nurses had been rocking her for hours. It always put me at ease knowing she was loved on when I was absent.
post #9 of 45
I did when I worked in the special care nursery for a short time. If the babies were upset I would definitely soothe them and when I fed them we always had a little cuddle. All the staff held the babies for feeds (although not tube feeds cos it's a bit hard to juggle everything).

It really depended on the baby of course as not all of them could tolerate being out of the warmth or oxygen of the humidicrib or they would have a negative physical response (increased heart rate or decreased oxygen level with too much stimulation) but, even if a baby couldn't come out of the crib I would always soothe them, if they cried, with patting or stroking.
post #10 of 45
I found the nurses held the babies more on the overnight shifts than during the day. We were often there until midnight or so, and saw the nurses holding the babies. And there were a couple of times I called at 5am when I was pumping and our nurse would tell me she had to put one of my babies down to come to the phone! But during the day shift they were so busy, probably because there were more parents and specialists doing their thing with the babies. We usually did the 3ish-to-midnight-ish shift at the NICU and I really preferred the peace and quiet that settled down after 8 or so. We always said we'd leave earlier, but it was so comfortable at night (as comfortable as a NICU can be) that we ended up staying every time.
post #11 of 45
They never held mine because I was there 24/7 and they would have had to fight me for him , but there was another little boy whose parents couldn't make it to the hospital that often and the nurses seemed to love on him a little more (and this was in the feed and grow ward, I never saw nurses holding babies in the critical area). They'd prop him on a shoulder while they did paperwork or something. I thought it was sweet.
post #12 of 45
Yup. Obviously, some of the sicker babies need to stay in their houses, but they held the babies who were feeders and growers. One nurse read Winnie The Pooh while rocking a friend's twins! How sweet is that?!

Georgie's night nurse was younger and loved her job. She would get excited when it was time to dress the babies and loved helping the parents take photos. I had the same experiences as the others did with night nurses- younger, more energetic and more relaxed. It was the night nurses who would let me hold him against the rules and let him begin to nuzzle and nurse. My cousin's wife is a NICU PA and she said the same thing. It's more relaxing there at night!

When G was in the nursery of the hospital where he was born, alot of babies were back there and I got to see the nurses in action. These were healthy babes who were just there to let mama rest and the nurses held them while they typed files on the computer, picked up babies to jiggle them, gave them pacifiers, talked to them... it was all very positive and loving and you could tell they were all baby addicts! Lol
post #13 of 45
Thread Starter 
That's sweet! My NICU nurses took pictures of my twins and then created a poem next the pictures as a Mother's day gift to me from the girls. I cried when I saw these pictures attached to their "crib".
post #14 of 45
We do if we can and if there parents can't be there. Very, very rarely do any of our babies CIO. There are times we just don't have time or extra hands though.
At my old job we had "cuddlers" to do the job. They were fairly limited in the kind of babies they could hold but they were so helpful!
post #15 of 45
It depended on the the baby. There was one baby in our NICU who's mother was on her own and so she'd had to go back to work because her bub had been there for a good six months at that point. I know the nurses occasionally held that baby when she became upset because she was older and wasn't critical, but also because her mother couldn't be there as much as she would have liked to.

Erin was only held in Special Care for feeds because I was there most of the day and DH came up at night for a while after work. She wasn't a fussy baby so there was really no need. But a lot of other babies were held by nurses when they were unsettled, especially the poor wee drug babies who really needed the cuddles. Actually I think our SCN even had a sling so the nurses could hold a bub and go about their other business.
post #16 of 45
Thread Starter 
I can't imagine how hard it is on those mothers who have to go back to work and knowing that their baby is in the NICU.

When I visited my girls at the NICU today and I saw a nurse rocking Evelyn while feeding her. I was happy to see that and I got to breastfeed Jayla today. I was actually surprised how easy it was for her to latch on my breast. After she was done eating, she looked so satisfied and burped loudly. :
post #17 of 45
There was a 4:1 ratio for most of my 2.5 yo dd's NICU stay. I think it was 3:1 the first few weeks but most of her stay she was in the transition nursery and it always had 8 babies and only 2 nurses. The nurses could barely keep up I'm not sure how they did it. I did see them bring in an extra nurse if there was a really fussy baby or something. I don't think they wanted any of the babies to be unhappy or crying and I felt like most of them did the very best they could.

My 4.5 yo dd would cry a lot in the NICU. Where she was it never was more than a 3:1 ratio which seems much more managable for the nurses. I stayed there a lot with her but there were a few different nurses that took turns carrying her around at night (she was off oxygen at this point). I really felt like my babies got the best possible care from the nurses.
post #18 of 45
Oh we loved our nurses. Although I was in the NICU 20hrs. out of everyday, it was still nice to know that the 4 hours I was a home sleeping that my little miracle was being loved and comforted. It was soooo cute when a fellow Mom told me one morning that the nurses were fighting to who got to hold my little guy. He was super cuddley and they all loved holding him. But no matter who had him when I came in he would cry as soon as he heard my voice and stopped the instant I held him. So I really don't think them holding my baby broke any kind of bond I had with him. Besides MOMMY'S always smell better to baby than nurses do. I thought it to be wonderful knowing that these men and woman loved all the babies even though they were not their own.
post #19 of 45
Originally Posted by VroomieMama View Post
I can't imagine how hard it is on those mothers who have to go back to work and knowing that their baby is in the NICU.

When I visited my girls at the NICU today and I saw a nurse rocking Evelyn while feeding her. I was happy to see that and I got to breastfeed Jayla today. I was actually surprised how easy it was for her to latch on my breast. After she was done eating, she looked so satisfied and burped loudly. :
My son's teacher had her baby at 28 weeks, and took 4wks initially, and then went back to work til he came home from nicu. She wasn't able to stop working altogether, and it made much more sense to save the time til he was home, where he needed her much more than in nicu.
post #20 of 45
Unless it was to feed them, I didn't see the nurses hold the babies. We didn't have volunteers. When the nurses weren't busy, we saw them chatting or on the computer. This really concerned me once I had one baby home and the other was still in the NICU. My husband had to go back to work after a month and we were unable to spend as much time in the NICU since they do not allow the released infant to return to the NICU and we live an hour away. I often wonder how this time affected my son. (He stayed 24 days longer than my daughter.)
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