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St. Joseph's Health Centre Toronto

What having a baby in the NICU taught me

With more than 700 babies coming through the NICU every year, our teams have a lot of experience supporting families through what can be a stressful and critical time. We asked three moms whose babies spent time in our NICU about their experience — and what their advice is for other parents in the same situation. Here’s what we heard:

IMG_7349--Rachel and her son Adrian were in our NICU for three weeks because he weighed less than 5lbs after being born three weeks early. With another child at home, Rachel split her time between the hospital and her house.

Her advice for parents in the NICU: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The team is there to help you and if you don’t ask them, they can’t help you.

From Renee (4)

Renée’s son was born at almost 33 weeks old and was admitted to our NICU to be monitored while he continued to gain weight, where he stayed for a total of two weeks.

Her advice for parents in the NICU: Be gentle on yourself – even just getting fresh air can help you recharge so you can do more for your baby and be ready for whatever else comes your way.


While at a regular check-up two weeks before her due date, Jennifer had to have an emergency C-section. Her baby Tessa was born healthy but weighing only 4lbs, so she went to the NICU where she stayed for three weeks. “How many moms have nurses with them 24 hours a day where you can ask any question you have? The team was fantastic – and it was great to get so much information from them.”

Her advice for parents in the NICU: Enjoy the milestones – they might not be the same that you would have at home and you might not enjoy them in the same way but they’re still important and something you’ll want to remember later.

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