24. Will my multiples need to stay in the NICU, and if so, for how long?
Many babies born before 37 weeks gestation may spend a day or two on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nursery or the transitional (sometimes called step down) unit. Since almost all higher order mutliple infants are born before this time most spend at least some time in the NICU.
Time spent in the NICU depends on gestation at delivery, general health of the infant, and any complications. Infants must be able to maintain body temperature, breathe on their own, and in most cases feed from a bottle or breast. Though weight gain is important, premature infants are not released from the NICU based on a set weight goal. The MOST Birth Survey showed average NICU stays as follows:
*Note: Hospital stays for infants born after 35 weeks may vary depending on the size and overall health of the babies.
For more information on infant NICU stays, visit the MOST Supertwins Statistics page.
Going Home - A Parent's Checklist (PDF) Extensive checklist for parents of preterm infants to prepare for discharge.
For information on premature infants, visit MOST's daughter organization PreemieCare.org
Copyright 2005 Updated 5/28/09