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Neonatal Special Care Nursery

Our Special Care Nursery provides care for babies that are unwell, premature or require additional support that cannot be provided within the Maternity Unit.

Our Special Care Nursery, at South West Healthcare, provides care for babies that are unwell, premature and or/too small to be managed and cared for within the Maternity Unit. There is also accommodation available for mothers to stay with their babies.

This is a six bed unit with current up to date equipment and a skilled medical and nursing/midwifery team to provide care.

How to access this service

Babies are admitted to the Special Care Nursery by a paediatrician.

Refer a patient

In the first instance health professionals should contact the hospital and ask to speak to the paediatrician on call.

Health Professionals

The Special Care Nursery is a level 3 nursery which has the capability of caring for mild to moderately unwell, uncomplicated newborns that are at least 34 weeks gestation and weigh 2kg and above. This includes growing preterm and convalescing newborns and infants. SWH may accept care of newborns marginally under the gestational age/weight listed above, when clinically appropriate or following specialist consultation.

Patient infromation

  • What to expect

    Babies admitted into the Special Care Nursery will be cared for by a dedicated team of specialists including Paediatrician’s, nurses/midwives, doctors and allied health care workers. This team will develop a care plan appropriate for your babies needs with the ultimate goal of making a smooth transition to home.

    The paediatric doctors will see your baby every day, usually between 0800hrs and 1100hrs. If possible, please try and be present then so that we can discuss your baby’s care with you and answer any questions you might have.

    If you (as a mum) have medical issues related to your birth, you will continue to be looked after by the obstetrics and gynaecology doctors and midwives for as long as necessary.

    Babies who are very unwell or born more than 6 weeks before their due date, will be stabilized in our Level 3 Intensive Care/Resus Room and transferred to Melbourne. If your baby needs to go to a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in Melbourne, he/she will be transported with the Paediatric Infant Perinatal Emergency Retrieval (PIPER) team, under the care of a neonatal doctor and intensive care nurse. In this situation, SWH will assist you in your own transfer to Melbourne.

  • Live-in

    The nursery is designed for mothers to live-in. Your room adjoins the baby’s room so that you can be close to your baby.

    The Special Care Nursery has Pods where your baby will be located. Four of the Pods have provision for the baby’s mother to “room in” with them, when they are discharged from the maternity ward. The pods have a bed for mum a fridge for storing expressed breast milk, cupboard for her belongings and a television. Breakfast and a limited range of meals are provided for the SCN mums.

    The other rooms in the nursery are shared Pods and don’t have provision for mum to stay overnight.

  • Visitors

    There are no restrictions placed on parents with visiting hours, however to create an environment best suited to the developing newborn, we request that all other visitors adhere to the visiting hours.

    Visiting hours for Special Care Nursery are from 2.30- 8.00pm. We prefer to limit the number, so there is only 1 visitor per baby at a time other than the parents. No children other than siblings are permitted into the Special Care Nursery. Visits should be kept short.

  • Infection control

    Babies in the Special Care Nursery have immature immune systems. You should gel your hands before and after touching the baby.

  • Discharge

    Generally babies should be feeding well and gaining weight before being discharged home.

Page last updated: 18 February 2021

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