At The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, we honor the central role families play in the lives of children and believe that collaboration is the key to the best possible outcomes. This philosophy is called family-centered care, and you can see it in our interactions with families and the support they receive.
Throughout the hospital and in the Newborn/Infant Intensive Care Unit (N/IICU), we strive to treat you with respect and make sure that the all-important communication between you and the clinical team is ongoing and open, and that the information shared is complete and unbiased. This approach allows you to feel more supported and involved during what can be an extremely difficult time.
We also design our services and spaces with families in mind. For families in the N/IICU, they include the following:
Family support services
We know that having your baby transported to our unit is a very stressful experience. To help you during this time, we offer a variety of support services:
- Three social workers in the N/IICU are available to help you with any emotional, financial or family concerns you may have.
- Our chaplaincy service can assist you with your spiritual and emotional needs.
- The Connelly Family Resource Center offers facilities and services to meet your special needs, including kitchen, laundry and sleeping facilities, staffed libraries for adults and children, computer availability, family coffee hours and more.
- Our lactation specialists provide breastfeeding support and care.
- A weekly support group helps mothers who are providing breast milk while their babies are in the hospital. This group meets on Thursday afternoons. Your baby's nurse can give you more information on meeting time and place.
- A family consultant (who is the parent of a child who had a long stay in the N/IICU) offers parents advocacy, education and support. She hosts a weekly coffee hour 10:30-11:30 a.m. each Wednesday. It's a great way to take a short break from your child's bedside and talk to other parents who are dealing with similar stresses.
For more details about family support services, see resources for families.
Family space is a priority in the Newborn/Infant Intensive Care Unit. Here are some of the areas that meet the special needs of parents:
- A waiting room and entry area within direct view of the unit clerk to provide a welcoming reception.
- A family sleep room that allows your baby to "room-in" with you when preparing for discharge.
- Family consultation rooms for private meetings and counseling.
- A family lounge and kitchen area within the unit, where you can take a break and still remain near your baby.
- A parent bathroom with shower.
- A breast pump room for nursing mothers.
See resources for families for more details.