Lurie Children’s provides specialized therapy care for babies recently discharged from Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and the Regenstein Cardiac Care Unit (CCU). The therapy program depends on the nature of the baby’s condition and can include physical, occupational and speech therapy.
The program treats NICU babies who were born prematurely and/or have various conditions that require pediatric surgery, have different neurological problems or different syndromes. It also treats babies who were discharged from CCU after surgery for various heart conditions.
For the NICU babies, there are a number of goals we set based on their individual condition. Some babies could have specific goals related to their decreased strength or range of motion. There are main goals the therapists set, such as working with the parents on helping the baby get into a more alert, calm and quiet state. We work on various positioning techniques to help the baby gain some midline control, bring hands to the middle and keep their head in the middle. Other goals include:
The goals for the CCU babies are similar, however there are positional precautions for babies who have had cardiac surgery for six to eight weeks after the procedure. Initially we teach the parents about the precautions and what the baby can do during the six to eight weeks of healing time. After the precautions are lifted, we educate parents on how to get their baby to enjoy being on their tummy and also gain symmetry.