Neonatal (Baby) Unit - Wollongong Hospital

NNUfeetThe Neonatal (baby) Unit is found on Level 2, C Block of Wollongong Hospital. Ph. 4222 4247

We care for babies born from 32 weeks of age that need extra care and support through their first few steps in life.

The arrival of a baby is an exciting time and we are aware of the stress that comes with having a baby born sick or too early.

The caring and helpful nursing and medical staff that work on this unit will help you and your family by offering family based care. We do this by always keeping you informed of your baby's progress and any changes to their health that may arise whilst in our unit.
 

Please click here for our visiting hours as they may change with COVID restrictions

Where are we in Wollongong Hospital?

Please scroll down to video below.

Inside our unit

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As you enter the unit, staff will ask you to wash your hands as babies that are born early are at risk of infection.

Handwashing and Hygiene

Please use the sinks (warm water) around the Neonatal unit as well as the alcohol -based hand rub

  • before touching your baby 
  • after attending to baby cares such as nappy changing
  • when entering or leaving the unit
  • before and after eating
  • after using your mobile phone (please wipe your phone down as well before use)

Facilities

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Kitchen Facilities

Facilities are available for you to use whilst your baby is in the Neonatal Unit.

Tea and coffee is provided and a microwave and fridge is available for you to use.

Please do not have hot drinks at the cot side.
 

Food & Drink

Facilities are available for you to use whilst your baby is in the Neonatal Unit.

Tea and coffee is provided and a microwave and fridge is available for you to use.

Please do not have hot drinks at the cot side.
 

Toilets

Toilet facilities are available for you in the Neonatal Unit.

Wifi

Wollongong Hospital provides wifi to patients and their families. if you are unsure on how to access the wifi, please ask our staff.

Chapel

Wollongong Hospital has a Chapel available at all times to those who feel they may need to visit whilst their baby is in the Neonatal Unit. Please ask our staff.

Parking

Parking is available in the multistorey carpark. Discounted parking is available if you are visiting the hospital frequently. Please ask our staff.
 

Family Centred Care

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Bonding with your baby is important in the Neonatal Unit and it helps baby's grow. Our staff will do everything we can to help support and encourage this natural bonding process.

Kangaroo Care

Kangaroo care involves direct skin to skin contact with your baby. Staff will encourage frequent skin to skin contact with both mother and father.

For more information about skin to skin, click here.
 

Bathing baby

Bathing your baby can be exciting, but sometimes a little scary. Our staff will help and support you, please ask us to help. Feel free to bring in your own soaps, oils and moisturizer.

Bringing your own clothes & sheets for baby

We encourage parents to bring their own clothes and sheets to make it more like home in baby's cot space. Please be aware of SIDS guidelines.

Ward rounds

The medical team and nursing staff will be available every day to discuss your baby's progress. We encourage you to be involved in this conversation.

Patient care boards

Each family is provided with a patient care board on admission to the Neonatal Unit. This allows parents to communicate with staff and establish goals for baby.

Photographs

We encourage you to take pictures of your baby to share with your family who cant be here to see your baby grow.

We do allow you to video call family however ask you to be mindful of others around you for privacy.
 

Developmental Cares

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Staff will help you to be involved in your baby's cares for example changing your baby's nappy and checking their temperature. Nurses will teach you how to do this. Please ask if you have any questions.

Treatment

You may see lots of different medical devices and hear lots of different noises and beeps. Our dedicated staff know that these can be scary. We are more than happy to explain the equipment to you.

  • Breathing -
    • Bubble Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) helps your baby to breathe through two prongs in their nose.
    • High Flow Nasal Prongs -your baby receives humidified air and oxygen through two prongs in their nose.
    • Low Flow Nasal Prongs - your baby receives small amounts of oxygen through two prongs in their nose.
  • Fluids -
    • your baby may require fluids through a tube in their vein (Intravenous (IV) cannula). These lines can also be used for giving Antibiotics (medicine).
    • your baby may receive feeds through an NGT or OGT tube that goes to their stomach
    • breastfeeds are encouraged
    • bottles may be used for feeds while you are away,
    • please ask staff for more information about different ways to feed baby
  • Temperature -
    • It is important that your baby maintains the right body temperature. Your baby may be require a "humidicrib" (plastic box/cot that stays warm) to help them stay warm. Nurses will teach you how to care for your baby whilst they are in the crib.
    • sometimes your baby will be on an "open cot" with an overhead heater to help them stay warm
  • Monitors - baby may be connected to a monitor that allows staff to see their heart rate, heart rate pattern, blood pressure, breathing rate and the level of oxygen in their body.
  • Low Blood Sugars (Hypoglycaemia) - if your baby requires treatment for low blood sugars, it may be through a sugar gel in their cheek or a tube in their vein (IV line).

  • Jaundice - if your baby becomes jaundiced (yellow skin colour), they may be treated under bright blue lights to help reduce their jaundice levels. It is common for baby to be sleepy and wear special sunglasses if under lights.
     

Feeding baby

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Sometimes, babies who are born sick or premature (early) may have trouble feeding. Our staff in the Neonatal Unit are here to support parents to feed their babies while in the unit.

Some feeding options are explained below:

Breastfeeding

Our staff are dedicated to supporting your breastfeeding journey. A Lactation consultant is available if needed. For more information about feeding your baby at Wollongong Hospital, click here.

Feeding Tubes (NGT/OGT)

Sometimes, your baby may require feeding through a tube that goes into the nose called a nasogastric tube (NGT) or a tube that goes into their mouth and then their stomach called an orogastric (OGT) feeding tube. Staff will teach you  about these feeding tubes, answer any questions and support you through this if needed.

Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI)

The Baby Friendly Health Initiative (BFHI) is a joint World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF project that aims to create a healthcare environment where breastfeeding normal. The BFHI also supports practices known to promote the well-being of all mothers and babies.

The Milky Way Breastfeeding App

milky way

Tests for baby

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Blood tests

Baby may require some blood tests during their stay. Tests are taken from their heel or a vein. Staff will give you more information about tests if they are required.

 Common tests include:

Vaccinations

With your consent, at birth, your baby will receive their Hepatitis B vaccination and Vitamin K injections.

Click here for more information about Hepatitis B vaccine

Click here for more information about the Vitamin K injection

Head Ultrasound

A head ultrasound may be required during your baby's stay. This is painless, similar to the ultrasound you may have had during pregnancy. It scans through the soft spot on the top of your baby’s head (fontanelle). Babies usually sleep through this and results will be discussed with you by the doctor.

Eye tests

Some babies may require an eye test to screen for “eye disease of prematurity” called Retinopathy of Prematurity.  You will receive more information if this is required.
 

NSW Newborn Hearing Test

All babies in NSW have a Hearing (SWISH) Program test. Since 2002 over 95% of babies born in NSW have been screened. 

The hearing screen is done when baby is asleep and settled. It helps identify babies that could have permanent hearing loss. The hearing screener will ask for your consent before baby is screened. Please Click here for more information.https://nnswlhd.health.nsw.gov.au/kids-families-health-services/statewide-infant-screening-hearing-swish/

 

Discharge

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Our goal is for you to feel confident taking your baby home. It can be an exciting feeling, but sometime a little scary. Staff will support you through your transition home. 

Planning 

From the minute your baby is admitted to the Neonatal Unit, our staff will be working on a plan to prepare you for discharge. We will teach you so that you feel more confident taking your baby home.

Your baby is ready to go home when he/she is:

  • 36 weeks corrected gestation or more
  • feeding well – breast, bottle or sometimes tube feeding
  • maintaining their temperature
  • putting on weight

Family Integrated Support in the Home (FISH)

FISH will support early discharge and help to transition home across a 7day/week service. The FISH nurses and allied health will help families with all cares including growth and development, nasogastric feeding, and  extra care such as oxygen therapy if required. Parents will be supported through their breastfeeding journey and any feeding choice they have.

Rooming In

We offer you and your partner the opportunity to stay with your infant in our rooming in room prior to discharge. This allows you to have a 'practice' of being at home with your baby, whilst still having the support of the Neonatal Unit Staff.

The room has two single beds and a bathroom. You have access to the kitchenette. We encourage you to bring your own food and toiletries.

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Neonatal Unit Resources

R.E.A.C.H out to us

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If you are worried about baby's care in hospital, REACH out for help.

Ask your nurse for a R.E.A.C.H. (Recognise, Engage, Act, Call, Help) brochure.

If you are concerned about your condition or becoming unwell, follow these steps:

  1. Speak to your Nurse or the Nurse in Charge. Tell them why you’re worried and request a clinical review.
  2. Ask your nurse to call and request for a ‘Clinical Review’.
  3. If the doctor has seen your baby but you’re still very worried, call ‘REACH’ on Ph 4222 5000 from a hospital phone (say you are making a REACH call)

We also encourage patients or carers to raise their concerns with us during times of handover between shifts.

reach

How to get to the neonatal unit in Wollongong hospital:

 

Need an Interpreter? Professional interpreters are available if you need help to communicate with staff. Our staff can also ask for an interpreter. The service is free and confidential. We will book the interpreter for you. You can also call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450 if you need to speak to us before your appointment.