Newborn babies who need intensive medical attention are often admitted into a special area of the hospital called the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The NICU combines advanced technology and trained health care professionals to provide specialized care for the tiniest patients.
NICUs also have intermediate or continuing care areas for babies who are not as sick but do need specialized nursing care. Some newborn babies will require care in a NICU.
The birth of a baby is a wonderful yet very complex process. Many physical and emotional changes occur for mother and baby.
A baby must make many physical adjustments to life outside the mother’s body. Leaving the uterus means that a baby can no longer depend on the mother’s circulation and placenta for important physiologic functions. Before birth, breathing, eating, elimination of waste, and immunologic protection all came from the mother. When a baby enters the world, many body systems change dramatically from the way they functioned during fetal life:
- The lungs must breathe air.
- The cardiac and pulmonary circulation changes.
- The digestive system must begin to process food and excrete waste.
- The kidneys must begin working to balance fluids and chemicals in the body and excrete waste.
- The liver and immunologic systems must begin functioning independently.
Your baby’s body systems must work together in a new way. Sometimes, a baby has difficulty making the transition to the world. Being born prematurely, having a difficult delivery or birth defects can make these changes more challenging. Fortunately for these babies, special newborn care is available. The NICU has been planned just adjacent to the Obstetrics department. A separate feeding bay has been designed for the comfort of mothers and their babies alike.