Every baby needs enough energy and nutrients to grow smart and grow strong. The medical and nutrition team in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) is dedicated to achieving this goal for each NICU patient. Our team is made up of two neonatal registered dietitian/nutritionists (RDNs) who specialize in the nutritional care of high-risk infants.
A registered dietitian/nutritionist makes rounds with the medical teams on a daily basis to design and oversee nutrition plans for each baby. These plans may include intravenous (IV) nutrition, breast milk, and/or formula. They also create and update guidelines for standard nutrition care and practice in our NICU as well as track growth outcomes for all NICU patients. They measure and evaluate every NICU baby’s growth regularly including weight, length and head circumference (a measure of brain growth). These measurements are then plotted on a growth chart specific to each baby’s sex and gestational age. The baby’s growth measures help the RDN to recommend changes to the feeding plan, if needed, for your baby to continue to grow.
Once a NICU baby is close to discharge from the hospital, RDNs will work closely with parents and the entire medical team to create a nutrition discharge plan to ensure that the baby gets the right amount of nutrition to keep growing at home as well as to support the parents’ feeding goals.
Our RDNs are always available to questions you may have about your baby’s feedings and/or growth throughout your NICU stay.
NICU Nutrition Team
Deirdre Ellard, MS, RDN, LDN
Hunter Pepin, MS, RDN, LDN, CNSC
Newborn Medicine Pharmacy
The goal of the newborn medicine pharmacy team is to ensure that each infant receives the right medication at the right dose with the right monitoring. These experts in medication care for newborns work in concert with the entire medical team including neonatologists, NICU nurses and other pharmacists to review the entire medication process to confirm that:
The right medications are available
Dosing and clinical practice is based on the best available evidence
Medications are prepared appropriately for babies
Medications are given to babies safely
Our pharmacy specialists make daily rounds with the entire medical team to review medications for each infant’s care. They are always available to answer questions about medications.