Late Preterm Babies and NICU

Babies who are born between 34 and 36 weeks and 6 days are called late preterm babies. These babies are usually smaller in size than full-term babies and are also at increased risk to develop several complications because they are born early. We have developed a special plan of care for these babies. These babies usually stay at least 48 hours after birth. They can have difficulties feeding, low blood sugars, breathing problems and are also at greater risk than full-term babies to develop jaundice and infection. These babies can have problems maintaining their heart rate and oxygen level in their blood while in a car seat. When they go home, these babies need to see their care provider (baby’s doctor or midwife) more often to monitor their progress.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

Our Tippet Foundation Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is a modern Level II nursery that provides specialized care for babies born 30 weeks or later in a pregnancy. If your newborn is premature or has special medical or surgical needs, your baby will be admitted to the NICU where he or she will be cared for by a team of paediatricians (neonatologists) and nurses. During the pregnancy it sometimes becomes apparent that your baby may have a special need that requires further investigation and care.

The NICU health care team works with parents to develop an individualized plan of care. Every day the team visits each baby, discusses the baby’s progress and sets goals for the day. Our rounds are Monday to Friday.The team’s priorities are to partner with the parents to ensure they have the education, skills and confidence to bring their babies home.

The unit includes

  • 20 monitored areas that are equipped to provide care to a premature or ill newborn
  • 4 care-by-parent rooms (includes: a bed, bassinet, bathroom and kitchenette)
  • A breast feeding chair in each patient care area

The NICU health care team includes:

  • Neonatologist
  • Paediatricians
  • Neonatal nurse
  • Registered clinical dietitians
  • Occupational therapist
  • Lactation consultant
  • Respiratory therapist
  • Social worker

We have a fully equipped resuscitation team. The NICU at NYGH is recognized for its superior ability to manage a range of newborn emergencies while allowing parents to stay close to their baby. We recognize the emotional needs of both the immediate and extended family. As a regional paediatric centre with the help of the Hospital for Sick Children’s transport team, we can safely transfer babies to a more specialized NICU if necessary.

Once the stabilization of your baby has occurred, the NICU staff will suggest skin-to-skin care with your baby. Your baby is placed naked except for a diaper and hat, on mom or dad’s bare chest. Your baby will hear your heartbeat, smell your familiar scent and recognize your voice, all of which will help to calm your baby and keep your baby’s temperature, heart rate and respiratory rate stable.The biggest developmental task your baby will need to accomplish is feeding. The NICU staff will advocate for your baby by requesting that you provide breast milk for feeding. Even if you are not planning on breastfeeding, we encourage you to hand express or pump your breast milk to provide colostrum and breast milk. Your baby’s nurse will assist you with milk expression if you choose this option.

You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.