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Why are babies placed in the NICU?

How does a baby end up in the NICU?
Submitted by American Baby Team

Most of us think the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is for preemies only, but newborn babies with all kinds of health problems are cared for there. Full-term newborns who've had surgery, suffer from an infection from their mother, had low Apgar scores, or went through a rough delivery are also NICU babies. If your doctor knows you're a candidate for a high-risk birth, he may have a team from the NICU present at your delivery to administer emergency care and take your baby there immediately.

Originally published in American Baby magazine, November 2006. Updated 2009

The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

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