Comprehensive NICU Parental Education: Beyond Baby Basics

Neonatal Netw. 2017 Jan 1;36(1):18-25. doi: 10.1891/0730-0832.36.1.18.


Educating NICU families during their child's hospitalization and prior to hospital discharge is an integral task for staff from the moment an infant is admitted to the unit. Staff has the responsibility of providing parents with a myriad of education regarding the intensive care environment and information concerning their child's medical condition. With first-time parents, staff teaching topics extend to also include training on how to perform basic newborn care such as diapering, bathing, feeding, and numerous other primary parenting responsibilities. True comprehensive education, however, should include information about and evidence on the significance of parental self-care in not only their own health and emotional stability but also the cognitive and behavioral development of their child prior to leaving the comfort of their NICU support network. Recommendations for this essential education are presented so NICU providers can best prepare parents for this critical responsibility.

MeSH terms

  • Education, Nonprofessional / methods*
  • Emotions
  • Humans
  • Infant Care* / methods
  • Infant Care* / psychology
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal / organization & administration*
  • Parents* / education
  • Parents* / psychology