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Why you should consider giving birth in a hospital with a NICU

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The desire for a healthy baby is shared by all, whether you are a first-time parent or you’ve gone through the experience of having a baby before. Every parent has their worries about the birthing experience, which is one reason to consider choosing a hospital with a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

As with anything in life, sometimes babies and new moms need a little extra help, and the NICU at St. Elizabeth Hospital is equipped with a caring, experienced medical team that specializes in delivery-day hiccups.

Did you know that each year, 1 of every 8 infants born in the United States is born ahead of schedule? Preterm birth, or birth prior to 37 weeks of pregnancy, can sometimes mean that extra care is needed for mom or baby. In a hospital with a NICU, most preterm health issues can be dealt with close by, right after your baby is born. Preterm babies born at area hospitals are often transferred to St. Elizabeth Hospital’s NICU, making this a great local benefit for Fox Valley parents! We are lucky to live in an area with a number of great providers, including Mercy Medical Center and Calumet Medical Center, both of which St. Elizabeth Hospital is equipped to transport your baby to the NICU if need be.

Even if you’ve spent your pregnancy eating all the right foods, attending all pre-natal appointments, getting all the necessary testing, reading all the books and making it to term, sometimes full-term babies need extra attention, too. All babies—early, late or right on time—go through a transition period after birth where their bodies undergo some amazing transformations inside as they adapt to life outside the womb.

Babies who encounter difficulties during this transition period may require extra support that a NICU is ready and able to provide. St. Elizabeth Hospital’s NICU is able to provide babies who require ventilator support inhaled Nitric Oxide, which causes the blood vessels in the lungs to relax. Thanks to funds supplied by the St. Elizabeth Hospital Foundation, we are also able to offer Therapeutic Hypothermia, a cooling treatment provided that helps to preserve neurologic function and decrease the risk of serious disability and death for under-oxygenated babies. This therapy must be initiated within six hours of birth, making it a valuable NICU resource.

It’s normal to be apprehensive about your birthing experience; being at a hospital with a NICU is just one way to gain some peace of mind. At St. Elizabeth Hospital, we do all that we can to make sure your baby’s birth is special, safe and as worry-free as possible!

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