When your baby is hospitalized

• Spend time touching and talking to your newborn.

• Learn as much as you can about your baby's medical condition, especially what parents should watch for and how parents can care for their baby's conditions.

• Don't be afraid to ask questions. Medical terminology can be confusing. Have the doctor or nurse write down any key diagnoses. Ask for printed patient information sheets or recommended Web sites for further information.

• Take an active role in your baby's care, especially as your baby becomes close to leaving the hospital.

• Ask if you can be given or mailed a copy of your baby's hospital dismissal summary.

• Inquire if public health nurses or visiting nurses can assist with your baby's care after you're home.

• Ask if your baby should be enrolled in special infant follow-up or infant development programs.

• Lean on someone. Talk the situation over with your partner or other family members. Invite family members and friends to join you at the hospital. Ask to meet with the hospital social worker.

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