1 in 7 babies born will need support from the Neonatal Team.
Babies can be admitted to neonatal care for a number of reasons, including when they:
- are born early – 1 baby in 13 is born early, and babies born before 34 weeks may need extra help with breathing, feeding and keeping warm
- are very small and have a low birthweight
- have an infection
- have a mother who has diabetes
- have jaundice
- had a very difficult birth
- are waiting for, or recovering from, complex surgery
The Neonatal Unit at the L&D is one of only three units in the East of England who provide intensive care for the premature and sick newborn babies.
At the L&D we have three separate nurseries, one for intensive care and high dependency, one high dependency and one for predominantly special care babies. There are 37 cots in the Unit in total. 11 are intensive care cots, 8 are for high dependency and 18 are specials care cots.
Specially Trained Staff
When a baby is admitted to the Neonatal Unit they will be allocated a ‘named consultant’ for the length of their stay and each day they will be allocated a named nurse to oversee their care.
Other staff in the NICU Team include physiotherapists, dieticians, ophthalmologists and hearing screeners, they may also be involved in looking after your baby.
Parents are a vital part of our team and play a central role in the care of their baby. We welcome and encourage parents to spend as much time as possible on the unit caring for their babies.
Babies are all individual and the length of time they spend on the NICU will vary, but as a general rule they are ready to go home when they can maintain their own body temperature, take their feeds and gain weight.
Due to the vulnerability of these patients we take infection control very seriously. We ask parents to support us with this to ensure the safety of all the babies in our care.
Meadowbank Ward is Bedford Hospital’s Neonatal Unit, situated in the Trust’s dedicated Women and Children’s Department in the Cygnet Wing. The Neonatal Unit employs specialist Neonatal Nurses and Family Care Assistants to care for premature and unwell new-born babies and their families.
The Meadow Bank Ward can be found on the second floor of the Cygnet Wing Women and Children’s Unit block and is serviced by Reception G.