Family Integrated care (FIC) supports the full integration of families into the care of their infants in the NICU. Preliminary research suggests that FIC decreases parent stress, results in fewer nosocomial (hospital based bacteria) infections, improves infant growth and breastfeeding rates, and improves patient safety. Parents are viewed as an integral part of the NICU team. We encourage parents to take care of their infant while in our unit and become primary caregivers for their infant in the NICU. The goal of FIC is to facilitate a partnership and collaboration between parents and the NICU staff, to promote parent-infant interactions and to build parent confidence.
The delivery of a premature or ill newborn can be an unsettling and unexpected time for parents. Our neonatal team is onsite 24/7 at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital. NICU nurses, respiratory therapists and other caregivers support babies’ growth and development and also teach families how to care for their newest members. Our goal is to partner with parents in the care of their infant from the delivery room through discharge. We encourage early and frequent time in the NICU to get to know your new baby. Our specially designed private rooms for single births and multiples invite you to be with your baby in a comfortable and private space. We encourage early skin to skin care, breastfeeding, and parental involvement in all aspects of your baby’s care. Parents are the heart of caregiving in our family integrated care model.