January 30, 2018

For the Love of Babies: Life in the NICU author Dr. Sue Hall

In this episode of “Yoga | Birth | Babies,” I speak with neonatologist and social worker, Dr Sue Hall about navigating the Neonatal Intensive Care unit (NICU).  Having a child in the NICU can be overwhelming and a great emotional strain.  Dr Hall has dedicated much of her career to the psycho-social support of NICU parents.  Our discussion sheds some light on what parents may expect, how they can advocate for themselves and their child and how to find support during this turbulent time.

In this Episode:

  • What is the NICU ?
  • The different levels of a NICU?
  • The percentage of babies that visit the NICU.
  • Common reasons a newborn may end up in the NICU.
  • Challenges parents face when their baby is in the NICU.
  • How the NICU staff helps support bonding with parents and baby during this time.
  • Ways a parent can still be involved with the care of their baby in the NICU.
  • Ideas for parents to advocate for themselves and their baby and understand the care their baby is receiving.
  • How parents can find support since emotions are so high.
  • How can friends and family understand the stress and emotion the parents are going through and ways to offer good support.
  • Ways to help parents  with a baby in the NICU and things that may NOT be helpful.
  • Finding self-care for the parent after giving birth and taking care of a NICU baby.
  • Breastfeeding in the NICU.
  • Kangaroo care with new baby.
  • Taking the baby home from the NICU- what to expect and the fears and concerns that come along with that transition.
  • The commonality of postpartum depression or post traumatic stress disorder from parents that underwent the NICU experience and suggestions to help the parents process this experience.

About Dr. Hall:

Dr. Sue Hall has been a neonatologist for nearly 30 years, and before that she worked as a master’s level social worker. She has a BA from Stanford University, an MSW from Boston University, and an MD from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She completed training in Pediatrics and Neonatology at The Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO, then joined the faculty at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine where she was affiliated for 19 years. Now in private practice at a community hospital NICU in Southern California, Dr. Hall is a board member of the National Perinatal Association and has numerous publications in the scientific literature on the topic of psycho-social support of NICU parents. She is also the author of a book about life in the NICU, titled For the Love of Babies, published in June, 2011.


Connect with Dr. Hall:




“Yoga | Birth | Babies” is sponsored by Health IQ, an insurance company that helps health conscious people like runners, cyclist, weightlifters and vegetarians get lower rates on their life insurance.  Go to healthiq.com/YBB to support the show and see if you qualify.



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