Having a child in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is a challenging time for any parent. While it is important for parents to be present at the bedside for their children, we encourage you to also take time to care for yourself. We offer a variety of programs to help parents while coping with having a child in the hospital and recovering from childbirth.
Our dedicated NICU social worker meets with each family who is admitted to the NICU to offer support and to connect them with hospital and community resources, when appropriate. She will meet with families throughout the NICU admission to provide ongoing support and to share relevant information about community resources. Please don't hesitate to ask to speak with the social worker if you would like to discuss accommodations, parking, insurance, financial concerns, general information about the hospital or any additional resource/support needs.
Our hospital offers a variety of parent relaxation activities including chair massages, meditation, and Reiki. Services are offered on Hale 11. We we encourage all parents to take advantage of these free services as a simple but effective way to practice good self-care during a NICU admission.
Boston Children's Hospital recognizes that breastfeeding is important to families and the health of their babies. Our certified lactation consultants provide breastfeeding support and education, work with mothers to prevent and manage breastfeeding challenges, support breastfeeding for infants with special healthcare needs, help mothers to maintain milk supply when separated from their babies, and assists mothers with obtaining breast pumps and equipment.
Bodyscapes Longwood is a state-of-the-art fitness center located across the street from the hospital that offers free membership to parents of children admitted to Boston Children's Hospital. It offers the latest fitness equipment, personal training, a wide variety of classes, and a full-service locker room. For more information visit www.bodyscapesfitness.com or visit the facility on Blackfan Street, one block after the Boston Children's Hospital parking garage on the right. Please bring your Boston Children's Hospital parent ID badge to take advantage of this offer.
Whether planned or unplanned, if you will be experiencing an extended stay with us (>30 days) there are additional financial and housing resources available to you. Ask our social worker for more information.
Infants, especially premature infants, often have fragile lungs that are underdeveloped and/or recovering from illness. Even when discharged home, they continue to be vulnerable. Secondhand smoke can make them more susceptible to illness and readmission to the hospital, so we strongly recommend quitting smoking before your baby is discharged. We realize that this is added stress in an already stressful situation, and we're here to help. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health offers smoking cessation assistance, including counseling and nicotine replacement therapy. With a referral from a doctor, these services are free to Massachusetts residents. We are happy to provide a referral for anyone interested in quitting smoking — simply ask your nurse and visit QuitWorks for more information.
If you are not a resident of Massachusetts, help is still available. Ask our social worker for more information.