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What will happen if my baby is in pain while in the NICU?

Your caregivers will use several tools to help determine if your baby is in pain in the NICU. These tools are based on factors such as your baby’s vital signs, facial expression, body movements, skin color, and level of activity. The staff will evaluate and record this information at least every 4 hours.

If NICU caregivers feel your baby is in pain, they may try comfort measures such as rocking, music, firm touch, repositioning, or offering a pacifier. They may also give your baby sucrose solution to soothe him.

Your baby’s physician will choose a pain medication that will be the most effective for your baby. Pain medications will be gradually reduced and stopped as your baby gets better and no longer needs them. If you feel your baby is in pain, please tell the nurse.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.