7 Reasons Your Baby Should Be Born at a Hospital with a NICU

Having a new baby is exciting--and stressful. Decorating the baby’s room. Planning for parenthood. Finding a pediatrician. Picking a name.

And then there’s the matter of choosing a hospital. According to federal data, 94.1% of women will have some kind of complication during pregnancy and delivery. Delivering your baby at a hospital with a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) can be lifesaving.

No expectant mom wants her baby to end up in a NICU. Still, 10-15% of babies born in the U.S. will be admitted to a NICU due to prematurity or other complications. Whether yours is a high-risk pregnancy or not, it’s ideal to deliver at a hospital with a NICU on site.

Here are seven reasons to consider when selecting a hospital to deliver your baby.

  1. NICUs are prepared for the unexpected. One in eight babies born in the U.S. is preterm, making this the number-one reason babies are admitted to the NICU. If you’re an expectant parent, it’s good to know that a specialized team is on hand to care for your baby.

  2. NICUs are equipped with specialized technology. A neonatal intensive care unit specializes in caring for premature babies and infants with medical complications. Because most community hospitals lack the equipment and expertise to care for these infants, it is safer to plan for the unexpected and choose a hospital with a NICU.

  3. NICUs provide added security, while still allowing your desired birthing experience. If a woman wants a more natural delivery, with little medical intervention, she can still have that experience at a hospital with a NICU. An on-site NICU provides added security since complicated deliveries can’t always be predicted.

  4. Hospitals with NICUs keep families together. Another benefit of choosing a hospital with a NICU is that you and your baby won’t be separated should your baby require NICU care. Staying in the same hospital promotes breastfeeding, parental bonding, and alleviates parental anxiety. Being in the same hospital makes a difficult and tough situation less stressful.

  5. Hospitals with NICUs eliminate the equipment constraints and stress of transportation. You want to have access to the most advanced treatment options immediately after birth to assure the best outcome for your baby. Delivering at Covenant HealthCare assures that the specialized delivery team is available if needed. If you choose to deliver at a different facility, that may not be the case and your baby will have to be transported to another hospital.

  6. NICUs offer a multi-disciplinary team approach. Board-certified neonatologists and neonatal nurse practitioners lead a multidisciplinary team of professionals to provide comprehensive care in the NICU. Covenant HealthCare team members include registered nurses, respiratory therapists, nutritionists, occupational therapist, social workers, and pastoral care and lactation consultants.

  7. Premature babies are more likely to survive when they are born in high-level NICUs than in hospitals without such facilities. A 2012 study published in Science Daily found increased survival rates (as high as 300 percent) among preterm infants delivered at high-level NICUs.

Not all NICUs are created equal.

Covenant HealthCare has the only Level III NICU in the Great Lakes Bay region. What does that mean? A Level III NICU, or high-level NICU, is designed to care for babies born before 37 weeks, born with birth defects or with other medical problems. A Level III NICU provides advanced care, with board-certified neonatologists and neonatal nurse practitioners that are on site, providing care around the clock.

The RNICU at Covenant HealthCare is a 55-bed unit that has recently been renovated to ensure the best healing environment for newborns and their families. It is equipped with the most advanced technology to care for our tiniest patients.

Find more information about our RNICU here.

Posted Date: 4/18/2016

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