Special Care Nursery (NICU) – Neonatal Services
Level I Nursery
The Telfair BirthPlace provides newborn care in the same room as the new mother. The nursing staff provides support and encourages new parents to participate and gain confidence in providing care.
Special Care Level II Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit
If an infant develops a problem after birth, they will be cared for in our Level II Nursery. Our team of highly trained nurses cares for infants born prematurely, with low birth weight or other difficulties.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long will my baby be in the special care nursery?
Every baby is unique. Sometimes the doctors can provide an estimate for you. Rest assured that your baby will receive the best medical care possible. Those providing care will be loving and gentle.
How do I get information about my child?
The most important way for you to stay informed is to talk with us; we encourage your questions. Please call us as often as you like at (912) 819-6426. All communication with you is confidential. Though we realize your relatives and friends will be concerned about your baby, we maintain your right to privacy by releasing information only to you, the parents. For security reasons, the infant's hospital identification number, as written on the mother's armband, must be given to the nurse before any information is released to you by phone.
When may I visit my baby?
You may visit at any time and stay for as long as you wish. We encourage frequent visits; being together is important for both you and your baby. There are visitation guidelines to ensure a safe and efficient environment.
When may I hold and feed my baby?
It may be a while before you can hold and feed your baby, but there are many other ways you can be involved.
May I breastfeed my baby?
If you were planning to breastfeed, you may still do so. Let us know right away so we can find the resources you need. If you are in the hospital, ask your nurses to help you get started. We employ a board-certified lactation consultant.
What can I expect when visiting my baby for the first time?
Your baby may look different than what you expect or remember and may be surrounded by unfamiliar staff members and equipment. We will explain your baby's equipment when you first visit.
What kind of equipment will be used?
Most babies sleep in beds designed to keep them warm. For some, the source of heat is an overhead warmer, while others are kept warm inside an incubator. You will probably see very thin wires taped to your baby's skin with gentle adhesive. These wires are attached to monitors that measure heart and breathing rates.
If your baby's heart rate or breathing patterns change, the monitors alarm the staff. Your baby may have an intravenous line (IV) for administering fluids and medicine. IVs are usually placed in tiny veins in the skin over your baby's head, hand or foot (these sites are easiest to access and are the most comfortable). You may notice a very narrow tube going into your baby's belly button. This tube is called an umbilical catheter or umbilical line. This kind of IV can be used to obtain blood samples. Once in, umbilical lines and IVs are not painful.
Why is it so noisy?
For those who are not used to the beeping sounds of monitors, the special care nursery is a noisy place. Most of the sounds are caused by monitors and alarms. If the monitoring system senses a change, an alarm sounds to alert the staff. These alarms do not always mean something is wrong, but they do require a response from the staff.
My baby is having trouble breathing. What does that mean?
Breathing trouble (either too slow or fast) is a common reason for admittance to the special care nursery. Sometimes premature babies' lungs are not completely developed, causing breathing difficulty. Other babies retain fluid in their lungs after birth, which makes breathing hard. Some babies require a little assistance like oxygen or something called continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). If this is the case either your baby's pediatrician or the neonatal nurse practitioner will discuss that with you. Sometimes, it becomes necessary to place a baby on a ventilator. If so, your baby will be transferred to another hospital. A neonatologist will discuss your baby's condition with you and answer questions prior to transfer.
Who are the people working in the special care nursery?
Many staff members play a part in the care of your baby, including nurses, physicians and specialists. We also have a full-time clinical nurse specializing in newborn nursing.