NICU Family Education & Information

This section of our website is designed to provide NICU families with information they may find useful during and after their child’s/children’s stay in the NICU at Saint Barnabas Medical Center. Many of the resources were developed, or are supported, by the NICU Family Advisory Council (FAC). The FAC is made up of about 80 graduate NICU parents who volunteer their time to make the experiences of current NICU families a little easier. They are all grateful for the care their babies received in the SBMC NICU. The FAC is led by the Parent Coordinator, who is a part-time staff person, who also had a baby in the NICU.

Small Baby Resources

Fact Sheets for NICU Terms/Conditions

  1. Apnea and Bradycardia
  2. Blood Transfusion
  3. Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD)
  4. Jaundice
  5. Kangaroo Care
  6. Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)
  7. Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)
  8. Newborn Sepsis
  9. Patent Ductus Arteriosis (PDA)
  10. Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC)
  11. Umbilical Catheter
  12. Hypoglycemia
  13. Gastrostomy
  14. HIE (Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy)
  15. Waking Your Sleeping Baby

For questions, feedback, or to get involved with the NICU Family Advisory Council, please contact:

Hayley Hirschmann, PhD

NICU Family Advisory Council Coordinator
NICU Buddy Program Coordinator

Eileen Steffen, RNC
NICU Quality & Research Coordinator
NICU Family Advisory Council Co-Coordinator

Calling all NICU Families
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NICU Family Resource Center

Often, the period following the birth of a premature infant can be a stressful time for parents that brings with it many unique questions and concerns. To help, Saint Barnabas Medical Center offers a Family Resource Center within its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

The NICU Family Resource Center at Saint Barnabas provides an inviting, comfortable space where parents and families with babies in the NICU can relax, reflect and access current, high-quality resources in support of their health information needs.

The idea came from the hospital’s Family Advisory Council, a concerned group of volunteer parents who had children in the Saint Barnabas NICU. Their hope it to use their firsthand knowledge to helps future NICU families. Funding was provided, in part, by The Livingston Sunrise Rotary and Saint Barnabas Medical Center Community Advocates.

NICU baby“Nothing makes having a baby in the NICU easy,” said Hayley Hirschmann, coordinator of the Family Advisory Council, whose own daughter was delivered three months prematurely and spent 96 days in NICU at Saint Barnabas. “But, we’re trying to make it a little easier by sharing our experiences.”

The Center’s design includes three separate areas for NICU parents, family members and other visitors. A Family Resource Library has books and pamphlets on many NICU issues like prematurity and breastfeeding and is equipped with computers and wireless internet access. A Family Lounge offers a relaxation space with a television and comfortable seating. The Family Room, which is separated from the lounge by a sliding wall, has many uses including a site for parent education classes and family trainings or a place to eat.

“Many of our NICU babies need to remain in the hospital to receive special care for weeks and months,” explains Eileen Steffen, R.N., NICU quality and research coordinator and co-coordinator of the Family Advisory Council. “The Center provides a place to help support families during the initial adjustment and when they come to the hospital to spend time with their baby.

Ms. Hirschmann says that parents use the areas for all sorts of things. It gives families a comfortable place to wait while their NICU baby is in surgery, working parents an opportunity to check emails and older children a space to do homework. The Center also has lockers to keep personal items in while families spend time with their baby in the NICU.

Patient Stories

  • Thanks to one of the best Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) doctors in the country, Simone’s treatment was already started.

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  • “We had our list of names narrowed down to 6 or 7, but we thought we had several weeks left to make the final decision. I was keeping the names a secret from family, but planned to share the top 3 with a close friend who would give honest, impartial ...

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  • "We owe our three beautiful miracles’ lives to the Saint Barnabas NICU."

    Colbea, Cooper & Chase
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Patient Stories

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