While her daughter was born nearly full term at 37 weeks, she was born very small and needed the specialized care at the BC Women's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) before going home.
Currently babies are cared for in the NICU in a large multi-patient care area with no space for mothers and families to stay with their babies. Like all new mothers, Stephanie wanted to be close to Charlotte while she was cared for at the NICU. The new Mother Baby Care rooms at BC Women’s NICU provided that opportunity to Stephanie and her family during this special and sensitive time.
“As a first-time mom, you want to be close to your child. You want to hold them, feed them, and get to know them. I’m so thankful for this space within BC Women’s so that I could be there for my daughter,” shared Stephanie.
BC Women's aims are to deliver the best possible, evidence-based care, to address the needs of women, newborns, and their families. The Mother Baby Care rooms are part of the NICU in the new Teck Acute Care Centre. By listening to the voices of women, like Stephanie and honouring their life values, mothers who previously experienced care of their babies in the NICU participated in all phases of the design of these rooms and challenged the NICU care team to consider new models of care that would minimize separation of the mother from the baby. BC Women's opened two rooms in the existing NICU to trial this new model of care.
The NICU care team recognizes the importance of parents providing skin-to-skin care, which has a demonstrated impact on the health and development of premature babies. The Mother Baby Care rooms create an environment where mothers and partners can practice skin-to-skin care and enhance the family experience with the support of specialized NICU doctors and nurses.
“Not only was this about giving me the time with Charlotte, but for my husband to also be here with her and to have the support of the amazing NICU nurses round the clock whenever we needed help,” said Stephanie.
To learn more, please visit: Neonatal Intensive Care