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Preventing Infection

NICU baby in incubatorThe NICU at Women’s Hospital is a healthcare leader in preventing infections among its tiniest patients. It’s important for all visitors, parents and staff to be vigilant in preventing disease from being introduced in this special unit of the hospital.


Your breastmilk is the best medicine because it is your baby’s first immunization. It is made specifically for your own baby and protects your baby from infections. Breastmilk provides head-to-toe protection, allowing your baby’s brain to grow and develop because of its special properties.

Hand Washing

Hand washing is extremely important for the babies in the NICU.  Even a small infection can become a serious illness for a NICU baby. As you enter the NICU, use soap and water to wash your hands if they are visibly soiled. Otherwise, use the hand sanitizer located just inside the door. Rub the hand sanitizer briskly over all surfaces of your hands and lower arms, and allow to air dry. 

To prevent the spread of infection, it is recommended that all jewelry be removed from hands and arms when handling babies. Artificial nails can carry bacteria. If you have artificial nails, it is recommended that you wear gloves or take extra care in sanitizing the nail area. Rewash your hands after touching your hair, face, purse, camera, furniture, cellphone or other hospital equipment and after smoking. If you have twins or triplets, it is best to wash your hands between handling each infant.


Cellphones are permitted, but please be mindful that they are a potential source of infection and can be a distraction.