When babies are born prematurely, they have yet to meet their full term milestones. To help your baby gain these skills, he or she may receive therapy while in the NICU.
Working with your baby’s doctors and nurses, our therapists create a care plan for your baby to address his or her unique needs. They also support mom and dad, teaching you how to care for your baby with confidence.
Our NICU Rehabilitation team includes:
- Debbie Bueme, PT, CIMI
- Diane Weissman, OTR/L, IBCLC, CIMI
- Wendy Gonzalez, PT, CIMI
- Lisa Milosevski, MS OTR/L, CLC, CIMI
- Lori Cyrek, MS PT
- Mary Edelson, OTR/L, IBCLC
- Lynn McIvor, MS, OTR/L
Many of our therapists are certified in specialty areas, including infant massage and lactation consultation.
Contact Us: If you have questions, please call (716) 862-1101.
A physical therapist (PT) works with premature babies who are 28 weeks gestational age and older.
Your baby’s therapist will focus on:
Positioning: Placing your baby in the fetal position can improve his or her development and prevent deformities. It also comforts your baby.
Range of Motion Exercises: These exercises help to increase circulation, stimulate bone growth and develop muscle tone.
Massage: Massage is a form of positive touch that contributes to your baby’s growth and makes him or her more accepting of touch.
Skin Care: Your baby’s skin condition will be checked regularly and specialized treatment will be provided, if needed.
An occupational therapist (OT) works with premature babies who are 32 weeks gestational age and older.
They focus on:
Feeding: Very young babies are often fed using nasal or oral tubes because they do not yet have the ability to suck, swallow and breathe during feeding.
When bottle feeding begins, your therapist will recommend how to position your baby for safe feeding and the type of nipple to use on your bottle. Before your baby leaves the NICU, the therapist will work with you to feed your baby with the bottles you will be using at home, so that feeding success continues after discharge.
Massage: Positive touch via massage helps to enhance your baby’s developing nervous system, improve your baby’s tolerance to handling and enhance the parent-child bond while the baby is in the NICU.
Parent Education: Your baby’s therapist will teach you how to hold, handle and comfort your baby. You’ll learn how to feed him or her and how to understand cues that your baby uses to communicate with you. You may also learn a bathing technique called swaddle bathing.
Educational handouts will be provided before your baby’s discharge home.
Babies with Prolonged Stays
If your baby has a prolonged stay, therapy will focus on skills that are addressed in the Early Intervention (EI) Program. This is a program offered by the New York State Department of Health.
After your baby is discharged, he or she may be referred to the EI program for continued therapy at home.
If you have questions about therapy in the NICU, please call (716) 862-1101.