About the Unit
The Plymouth NICU cares for babies born in Plymouth and other Peninsula hospitals who are extremely preterm or who require intensive care when born at full term if they are very poorly. The unit is divided into three main rooms, babies may move between these rooms depending on the level of care that they require.
Intensive Care Nursery and High Dependency Nursery:
Babies who are very small or unwell and need help with their breathing will need to be looked after in these nurseries. Babies who are undergoing assessment after delivery will also be admitted here. There may be occasions when it is necessary to move your baby between these two rooms. We will try to let you know before this happens so you are prepared.
There is space for six infants in each room, each space has all the equipment necessary to care for your baby. Most of the babies in this room will be looked after in an incubator or a hot cot, often with a number of wires attached to a monitor, this is so that we can observe your baby closely whilst keeping him or her warm and without disturbing them too much.
Usually there will be one nurse caring for two or three babies, however sometimes a baby may require one to one nursing and very occasionally may need two nurses to look after him or her.
The doctors will see your baby frequently and will regularly meet with you and talk to you about your baby’s progress.
These rooms can often become very busy, noisy and be brightly lit. However we do try and keep the nurseries as quiet as possible, and the lights dimmed during quiet time and night time.
Special Care Nurseries
Babies will be moved into the special care nurseries when they are progressing well but still require more care than can be given on the Transitional Care Ward or at home. In this room babies will improve their feeding and continue to grow whilst being observed. There is space for 5 babies in each nursery. The nurses in this room may be looking after four or five babies at a time, and you will be encouraged to be more independent in caring for your baby. You will still have the opportunity to meet with your baby’s doctors on a regular basis.
Transitional Care Ward
Babies will be transferred to the Transitional Care Ward (TCW) when they no longer require such close monitoring and observation. TCW has the facilities for parents to stay with your thieir babies so that feeding can be established and parents can really get to know their babies well before going home. The midwives work in teams and there may only be one midwife looking after five to six mothers and babies at a time.