Additional Resources to Help Support our NICU Families

We know this may be a stressful time for you and your family, and we want to help in every way possible. Please learn more about the additional services that are available at Cincinnati Children’s.
Supporting breastfeeding as the optimal nutrition for infants, the members of the Cincinnati Center for Breastfeeding Medicine are committed to helping mothers successfully breastfeed longer.
The Cincinnati Children's Fetal Care Center provides excellent, comprehensive maternal fetal health services for high-risk pregnancy patients, offering a complete range of services from prenatal diagnosis through fetal interventions, including open fetal surgery.
The NICU is dedicated to providing the best developmental care to premature and medically fragile infants through the use of developmentally supportive positioning, environmental modifications (reducing light and noise) and individualized care. Babies who receive both excellent medical care and supportive developmental care have better long-term outcomes.
Developmental support services and parent education are provided to support optimal growth and development of premature or medically fragile newborns, infants and toddlers from birth to 3 years of age. Most infants who are hospitalized in the NICU will get a referral to Early Intervention. This is a national program and is funded by the state of Ohio. The services can include a developmental teacher, occupational therapy, physical therapy or speech therapy.
The Newborn Intensive Care Follow-up Clinic staff evaluate and manage high-risk infants for developmental concerns, supplemental oxygen therapy and complex management problems following discharge from intensive care nurseries.
Home Care Services is Greater Cincinnati’s only full-service home health agency devoted exclusively to children. The organization brings together a complete range of specialized services in the comforting environment of your own home.
The Division of Human Genetics provides comprehensive information about clinical management and diagnostic services for those affected with a variety of genetic conditions.
Integrative Care and holistic health specialists provide several types of therapies such as massage therapy, healing touch and relaxation for patients and families. These healing therapies can help manage pain, calm anxiety and relax the body and mind.

The NICU supports early kangaroo care, or skin-to-skin contact, between the premature baby and parent. The neonatologist will approve the parent for kangaroo care when your baby is medically stable.

Read a patient story about Kangaroo Care.

Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program  (NIDCAP) is a special way of nurturing a baby as a whole person through the ways in which we give care. Through NIDCAP support, a baby is able to communicate needs and to play an active role in determining progress. Using the NIDCAP model of care, parents are able to understand and interpret their infant’s behavior so they are able to understand their infant’s needs.

Read a patient story about NIDCAP.

The Division of Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy provides oral motor / feeding and developmental evaluation and treatment for premature or fragile babies.

  • Oral motor / feeding intervention may include determining the safety of oral feeding, optimal positioning for feeding, feeding techniques to improve the quality of feeding by breast or bottle, and working collaboratively with the medical team to establish feeding schedules that support the health of the baby.
  • Developmental intervention may include hands-on treatment to influence muscle tone and movement patterns as well as providing specialized positioning to promote optimal development.

Occupational therapists facilitate the transition from hospital to home by providing parent education about feeding and development. 

Studies show that babies benefit greatly from listening to music and being read to by their parents. Our Parent Library, donated by Jeffrey and Shannon Herold in memory of their son, provides a collection of books and audiotapes, and parents are encouraged to bond with their babies through reading and listening to music.

The Rev. Marianne Brandon is the daytime chaplain for the NICU. In addition, a chaplain from Pastoral Care is always on-call in the hospital, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The chaplain’s role is to provide support to every family, regardless of religious affiliation or participation. It is common during times of crisis to experience questions in regard to your priorities, personal strength, relationships and beliefs. The Rev. Brandon is trained to listen to these matters of the heart, providing empathy and encouragement. Prayer, religious rituals and contacting your pastor or a representative of your faith are also services provided by the chaplain. Whatever your specific need, please feel free to ask your nurse to contact the chaplain to ensure a visit. 

Clergy from your own congregation are welcome and encouraged to visit you and your baby on the NICU. 

The Chapel of the Holy Child and the Interfaith Chapel are located on the first floor of the A building, directly across from the A information desk. The chapels are always open for meditation and prayer.

Learn more about our Bereavement Support and Grief Counseling services.

Every family is assigned a social worker and will receive contact information in the first few days of your hospitalization. Our professional licensed social workers are available in the NICU to offer support and social work services such as parenting, marital, family, financial and discharge planning.

Learn more about our Ongoing Support Resources.

The Pediatric Transport Team offers a state-of-the-art mobile intensive care unit environment that allows for the transport of critically ill newborns from local, regional, national and international referral sites. In-house teams are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to allow a rapid response for medical transports.

Our 50 volunteers are an integral part of the NICU during the day and evening hours. They perform many functions, primarily holding and comforting infants whose parents cannot be with them at that time. Community members are trained and supported by nurses, developmental specialists and Child Life specialists to recognize behaviors that indicate when infants need and want to be held and calmed.  Volunteers hold and talk softly to infants, reposition them for comfort, offer a pacifier and even read and sing softly, depending upon each infant’s needs and wants.

Every infant has his or her own way of interacting that is unlike anyone else; learning to understand an infant’s nonverbal cues is important to understanding how to help.  Responding to infants’ cues for attention and interaction is especially important  in the first year of life, when infants are learning how to trust their world, and their brain is growing at a rapid pace.  Every experience matters to infants, and comfort and calmness are experiences that benefit infants in the NICU. 

Guest Services

Our Guest Services department offers lodging, transportation and translation assistance to out-of-town families traveling to Cincinnati Children's. Guest Services