Children's Therapy NICU Inpatient and Outpatient Services
Bonding, Feeding, Motor Skills: Fragile Babies Benefit from Early Intervention by Neonatal Therapists
Premature babies struggle with circumstances that may impact the development of their feeding, motor, sensory and attachment systems. While in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), they are cared for by a dedicated team of professionals—at Valley Medical Center that team includes therapists from the Children's Therapy Department. Follow up care for infants discharged from the NICU is provided by Children's Therapy.
Occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech language pathologists work in our NICU six days each week, collaborating with medical staff and nurses to provide evaluation and treatment of these fragile babies. Therapists work to facilitate feeding development, promote optimal positioning, promote motor development, regulate arousal level, and assist parents in bonding with their new babies.
Our therapy staff also works to link up babies and their families to our NICU follow-up clinic for continued care after discharge. Early intervention and work with therapy staff in the NICU is key to promoting overall development and outcomes for these infants.
Researchers at Seattle Children's are currently recruiting infants (under 6months) to study brain development during the first three years of life. To qualify, the infant has to be under 6 months and born weighing 4lbs 6oz or less. For more information on the study please click here.
Other Resources for Families and Caregivers
- Connect2NICU - provides a dictionary of terms used in the NICU Unit and descriptions of the kind of caregivers you will meet while your child is in care there
- ASQ Age & Score Calculator - Easily find your baby's adjusted age
- My NICU Baby - Learn about NICU staff, policies, equiptment and terminology as well as information on caring for your baby and what to expect when your baby graduates from the NICU
- Peekaboo ICU Preemie - guide to prematurity with easy to navigate sections on weekly development, nutrition, growth, anatomy, milestones, and journal
- PEPS (Program for Early Parent Support): 12-week support program offered in collaboration with Children's Therapy
- Peekabooicu.net - Created to provide support to parents as they face the emotional journey of the NICU; empowering parents with knowledge, offering support, and encouragement along the way.
- Feeding Matters - Brings together the parents of infants and children who struggle with eating and the physicians who treat them, including provider and resource directories.
- Handtohold.org - Provides comprehensive navigation resources and support programs to parents of preemies, babies born with special health care needs, and those who have experienced a loss due to these or other complications.
- Safe Sleep Practices - This document shares the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations and evidence-based data provide the foundation for infant and child safe sleep protocols at Valley Medical Center (VMC).
- Pathways.org - Free resources to help you understand, track, and encourage your baby's milestones for the best possible outcomes.