When your baby needs a little extra care
Sometimes when your baby is born before their due date or if they need a little extra care, they will spend time in a special care nursery or neonatal intensive care unit after they are born.
Here, your bub can get all the attention and monitoring they need to ensure they are healthy and continue growing ready to go home with you.
What care do babies receive?
Care for your baby after birth, also known as neonatal care, is incredibly important but it can be a bit confronting for parents.
Babies sometimes have to spend time in special cots and have tubes delivering air and food. This equipment helps their internal organs such as their lungs and kidneys develop and gets them ready for life at home.
Monitoring pads are also sometimes placed on their skin which help doctors and nurses monitor their wellbeing and assess their progress.
It’s oh so quiet
Newborn babies, especially those who are born early, are used to the warmth, darkness and muted sounds of their mums’ womb. To try to replicate these surroundings as much as possible we keep the nursery quiet, warm and with low light.
These measures also make it a peaceful place for parents to come and spend time with their newborn.
Who can visit babies needing special care?
When babies need extra care after they are born, we want to make sure they are not exposed to too much too soon. This is to ensure their organs have time to develop, ready for when they leave hospital.
This means we generally ask that only parents spend time with their newborn in the nursery. Visitors are welcome to spend time with the parents in the maternity ward and with baby when they are ready to leave the nursery.
When can my baby leave the nursery?
The time your baby spends in the nursery depends on their needs. Sometimes they only need to be there for a few hours, sometimes longer. Wherever possible, we keep your baby with you in your room (called rooming-in) so you have time to bond.
Will my baby need to go to another hospital?
Occassionally, if your baby is very unwell and needs special technology to help their organs develop, your baby may need to go to another hospital. In these cases, we keep the parents informed at all times as to their baby’s wellbeing and do everything we can to help you recover so you can spend time with your baby.
About Jo Jury
Jo Jury is an experienced midwife and an Assistant Maternity Nurse Unit Manager at St John of God Bendigo Hospital. She has more than eight years’ experience as a midwife and has a particular interest in perinatal mental health and all aspects of midwifery care and early parenting.
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