Saturday, April 7

NICU Experience - The Good , The BAD

Manipal NICU
Manipal NICU

The overall experience with the NICU unit of Manipal was good.( Of course I am not considering the cost factor , If you have insurer that covers NICU admission , I would recommend yes).

THE GOOD: ( What I Liked )

Very professional. I know they are supposed to be , but  I did not see any violations of hygiene , handling babies , administering baby feeds , helping the mother to handle the wire trapped baby. They knew it well , and were good at it. Saw them handling a 600 gms baby , a baby on ventilator , many babies on photo therapy.
Did not allow any relatives . Did not allow even father ( beyond 1 hr visiting time in morning )
My relatives waited to see the baby face for 5 days !!! Hmm..... I hope they were lenient , but their are other infection prone babies also , so I understand


Around 30 + beds. Only 2 senior experienced Consultants ( Dr Arvind shenoy and Dr Karthick Nagesh ). No doubt about their abilities . They are good. But man you are handling too many babies.
There will be conference in the morning around 10 am. Parents queue up to meet the doc outside NICU gate. First come first serve. No matter which doctor you opt for ( or allotted ) only one of the consultant will be available to update you and answer your queries. This is the only time you get to see them , and rest of the day you can't directly talk , but can reach duty doctors .Any emergency , they will contact the consultant.


You need to feed milk to the baby every 2nd hour ( who is admitted in NICU). The NICU is not just next room. It is far . If u r on 10th floor , you will  need to go to NICU on 2nd floor. You need to call the sister , once she comes in , tell her to call the wheel chair guy. This guy will be the most busiest person in the world.

Follow up , follow up , and 15 mins if u r lucky. Now go to the NICU. Feed ur baby , Again wait for the wheel chair guy.
Sometimes I was escorted by husband back to the WARD , and this became our preffered option for the next few days.

You just delievered , mine was normal , but C-Section imagine waiting for wheel chair?? ( W8ing , w8ing only to reach late and find that , they already fed the baby with formula milk , since I came late. But I called them , yet they fed the baby... Ummmm . Should I be angry or not ? )
I have seen many couples in that situation ,and have shouted innumerable no of times on deaf ears.

Now the night schedule . They wont allow you in NICU after 11 pm , so need to express milk using a breast pump and send it to NICU every 2nd hour. Too difficult to express the milk , real struggle for first time mother. You must have a private ward , or request for the window side in the shared ward , so you have the privacy of expressing milk. Else the husband needs to stand guard , and in that tension , it becomes so hard to express. UFFFF....

So the schedule is like this: ( Husband's duty )
1st feed : 11 pm Night ( Ok , 11 pm is no big deal )
2nd : 1 am morning ( Workable , But difficult to express milk at that hour of night. Isnt it? )
3rd : 3 am ( Imagine the condition of wife )
4th : 5 am ( Too tired , red swollen eyes )
5th : 7 am ( Ohhh man , thats it , we tell sister to give formula milk only )

( and I am serious ) Probably this was that period of life , which I would really not like to happen again.

What you need to be prepared with:
1. Steel containers : ( Around 50 ml capacity ) . Keep around 6-8 with you. Because every 2 hr you need to give it to NICU nurse, and she returns you back in morning.

Available in hospital , but costly.
2. Collect daily bill statements from hospital. Available for free on request. And if the diapers/baby oil/powder are too costly above MRP , get it urself. Ur insurer wont pay for these, and u r the best judge , as to which diaper ur baby fits best in.
3. Another close relative staying in the hospital. Since after the night shift , you need some hrs rest , else sure shot will fall sick.
4. Diapers and Baby Wipes : and lots of it. Lots
5. Home made food. ( If possible ) : Hospital food is good, but with all the green chillies coming out of their sambhar , my grandma prefers having home made food.
6. Don't buy 2 many new born clothes. The baby will outgrow them in a few weeks. So dont buy too many in excitement. I bought 5k worth of it , and now none fits.
7. Discharge time: It can throw some surprises. So keep in touch with the corporate people on the ground floor and your hospital co-ordinator , and ensure bills and reports are synced up.

No comments:

Post a Comment