Letter from the Editor

What exactly is a “NICU”?

In this month’s edition of Families Like Us, we had the opportunity to get an exclusive, in-depth piece on the struggles families face when their children must be admitted into a neonatal intensive care unit after being born prematurely or when other issues happen during birth.

This piece was beautifully written by Las Cruces local Camille Plante, who along with her son, lived through a fragile premature birth. Read about this magnificent, moving story in this month’s issue.

So, with all this talk about the importance of a neonatal intensive care unit or NICU, the question seems to pop up – What exactly is an NICU?
A NICU is an intensive care unit specializing in the care of ill or premature newborn infants.

Throughout the years, NICUs were not that common with the first one designed by Louis Gluck and opened in October 1960 in New Haven, Connecticut, according to Neonatology on the Web, an online NICU resource.

But since then NICUs have grown to be more common in communities because of the great work they provide for the community.
The two hospitals in Las Cruces, Memorial Medical Center and Mountain View Medical Center, both have NICUs that aim to help the families of Las Cruces and the surrounding areas.
That is why it is important to have people who know how to support families while they face the NICU and when they transition to the home setting.