Support for Families
WakeMed Developmental Team & Parent-Led Care
WakeMed's Developmental Team helps families partner with staff in caring for their babies and in understanding the behavior and development of premature babies. Parents are an essential part of their child's care at WakeMed.
"Families need to be involved, informed partners in the care of their babies," explains James Perciaccante, MD, director of Neonatology at WakeMed. "They are caring for their babies, and we are supporting them though this difficult time. Our NICU team makes daily family rounds and discusses each baby's care plan openly."
The NICU experience can be stressful. Our staff works to minimize stress and support our families through the experience. Instilling family confidence is vital to helping parents bond with their baby and learn to care for their child.
We promote and encourage Kangaroo Care (when a mother or father holds her or his baby skin-to-skin) as an important part of the growth and development process. Learn more.
Parent & Family Lounges
The WakeMed NICU offers two parent and family lounges, with areas for older siblings to play and family showers. These lounges are also meant to be a central gathering area to foster parental camaraderie and interaction - another means of support during the stressful NICU experience.
NICU Advisory & Parent Support Group
The NICU Advisory & Parent Support (NAPS) of WakeMed Health & Hospitals is a parent–led initiative with the NICU staff developed to promote the concepts of family-centered care; to advise WakeMed administration and staff on patient needs and medical center priorities from a family perspective concerning ongoing issues parents of pre-term babies face while their children are in the NICU and post-discharge; and to educate and empower families about their role in their child’s care.
As a NIDCAP Training Center, we invite you to visit www.nidcap.org for more resources and sources of support for parents and families.
Beyond the Nursery - A Lifelong Impact
The WakeMed NICU team also follows high-risk children for up to three years in an outpatient clinic setting. This developmental support is provided for babies who are born prematurely and others who may be at risk due to medical conditions or treatments received in the NICU.