Monday, December 19, 2011

Every hospital has a slightly different discharge process. Some require all parents to "room in" or spend the night caring for the baby in the hospital before coming home. Others require classes for parents and test for babies. We asked moms to share their experiences to help give you some perspective on what you might expect. Remember that these are just some people's experiences and your hospital may have a different approach!

What was the process like?

  • "At our hospital we had to "room in" and stay a night (or two) prior to discharge. We had to be trained on the O2 and on the monitor. We also had to do CPR training...<--- This was at the hospital DS was discharged from. The hospital where DD was transferred and later discharged, we also had to watch videos on SIDS, a G-Tube training video and a few other "caring for preemie" videos. We also had to have pump training for DD's feeding tube and training on how to care for her G-Tube."
  • "They just told us he was going home the morning of. The night he was admitted they told me he would come home around his due date. I didn't ask again. On Wednesday one of the nurses told me to start getting ready he would be home by the weekend -he was home Thursday. He came home at 35 weeks (1 week in NICU)"
  • "Basically, we were given a packet of information we had to go over prior to discharge. They gave us the packet about 3 days prior to Ian's discharge. We also had to demonstrate that we knew how to change diapers, give baths, dress them, swaddle them and feed them. Luckily, we only had to demonstrate once and we got signed off for both boys. We also had to watch an infant CPR video and pass a quiz (I was exempt from this because I'm required by job to be CPR certified anyway, so I just showed my certification card to the staff). A day prior to discharge, the boys were circumcised (we're raising them Jewish, so it was for religious reasons, but we didn't want to circ them out of the NICU for obvious reasons!). They had to be monitored for 24 hours before they'd be released to us. The day we left with them, the nurses performed a carseat test. Luckily we didn't need any special training on any support devices because the boys weren't released with any. They also had to pass a hearing test and they got their first dose of the Hep B vaccine before discharge."
  • "We roomed in the night before our son was discharged. We spent the night in a private room in the NICU that was designed to look like a hotel room with hospital equipment hookups. It allowed us to try up to a full day of "on-our-own" baby care with nurses just steps away if they were needed. We did wind up needing some help when our monitor was malfunctioning, but otherwise, we were pretty capable of taking care of his needs after weeks of doing cares in the NICU."
  • "Normally the parents sleep in a transition room with the baby the night before (or multiple nights for parents whose children have medical issues) we slept in the transition room but she stayed in her own room. Discharge wasn't too difficult - we had some paperwork to go over and sign and then they just kind of disconnected her from her monitors and sent us on our way."
  • "At our hospital parents only "room in" under some circumstances. Any baby going home with monitors, oxygen, or other equipment has to room in so the parents can make sure they know how to do everything. Doctors often also made parents room in if they did not feel like the parents knew how to care for their preemie. This was often parents who had not been very present during their child's NICU stay. Because I basically lived at my baby's bedside and she did not come home on a monitor, we did not have to room in. We just had to make it through a discharge exam and be released by several teams. Then the nurses packed us up and walked us out to the car!"


Precious and priceless so lovable too, the world’s sweetest littlest miracle is, a baby like you.

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