Ten tips for interacting with parents of NICU babies

The emotional and psychological needs of parents of NICU babies are often not addressed by NICU health professionals, even when the medical care of the infants is optimal. A checklist of ten items is offered in  a special article that lists some ideal communication patterns and behaviors that NICU professionals should display. These include:

1. Knowing the baby’s name and gender.

2. Not referring to the baby by a diagnosis.

3. Good listening skills and acknowledging parental presence

4. Consistency of care

5. Proper introductions and revealing one’s name to the parents

6. Adapting language to suit the parents’ needs

7. Knowing the medical details of the baby

8. Acknowledging the parents’ role in the baby’s care

9. Not labeling the parents

10. Understanding the importance of the NICU professional to the family.

Ethics and etiquette in neonatal intensive care. Janvier and Lantos 2014.