Parent Discharge Letter

Dear Family & Friends,

We are so excited to announce that soon we will be bringing our preterm baby home. We know you share in our excitement!

Though we are leaving the NICU, we will be bringing home many of the practices and habits that we learned there. Our medical team has told us that we must be very careful in the weeks and months ahead, since we want to protect our child's health and development. Illnesses that are minor irritants for term infants can send babies born preterm, back to the hospital. This is something we all want to avoid. The way we care for our baby may seem different than what you are used to or what you may have done with your children, but our actions are based on medical advice that is specific to our child and family. We appreciate your support, acceptance and understanding.

We will be following our doctor's advice about limiting visitors over the next few months. Big events with many people are not suitable for our infant, so it is much easier for us to visit in small groups or to host a single visitor.

If we are able to have you over, please ensure the following:

  • Please be completely healthy. If you have a cold (even a minor one) or think you might be getting ill, please postpone the visit to a later date. If you are not sure, please ask us, and please don't be offended if we suggest postponement. Our child should avoid exposure to persons with symptoms such as a fever, cough, runny nose, new cold sore, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Please wash your hands upon entering our home, and please be thoughtful about hand hygiene during your visit.
  • Please do not smoke before or during a visit with us.
  • We will be following our doctor's recommendations regarding vaccinating and medicating our child and our family. We would appreciate it if you would support us in this. We also encourage you to make sure your immunizations (including the flu shot) are up-to-date.
  • We are following very specific guidelines related to feeding our baby, and also following standard safe sleep guidelines. If you are helping us care for our baby, please follow these guidelines as well.

We greatly appreciate your understanding and your help. We are also grateful for the support you showed us during our NICU stay, and we look forward to seeing you soon.

Information is endorsed by the NICU Medical Team and Family Care Council, Children’s Hospital, LHSC. Edited with permission from Author: Canadian Premature Babies Foundation