Approximately ten per cent of all babies born require admission to the Local Neonatal Unit. The reasons for admission range from babies needing support with their breathing to those having problems with feeding or babies requiring investigations, close observation or monitoring. Many of these problems relate to being born prematurely but some full term babies need admission as well.
Sometimes it is known beforehand that your baby will need admission and a team of highly trained doctors and nurses will be called to the delivery of your baby.
If your baby does need to be admitted to the unit, he or she will be stabilised on delivery suite or postnatal ward first then transferred on a special cot known as a resuscitaire.
When your baby arrives on the Neonatal Unit neonatal nurses will assess your baby's condition and his/her immediate needs will be addressed first. Partners are welcome to accompany the baby to the unit. They may be asked to wait outside because the first hour or so is usually very busy whilst baby is settled into the unit. Staff will welcome you to the unit and will introduce themselves to you as soon as possible.
A series of routine admission checks are done and baby may need to be put into an incubator for warmth. However, if it is felt that baby can manage in a cot, he/she will be transferred into a cot. As soon as it is possible, the nurse caring for your baby will explain what the equipment is for and what is happening with your baby. You will also be seen by a doctor who will explain about your baby's condition as soon as possible.