Nobody wants their baby to spend time in neonatal intensive care. If this is the case however, parents hope that their baby will be cared for and that their time spent in the hospital will be healing and restful.
For Mara Thorhaug of Coeur d’Alene, the importance of a peaceful, private environment quickly became evident after her daughter, Helen, arrived five weeks early.
“Helen was born on March 13 and had to be put on oxygen and an IV her first night,” Mara explained. “This was two days before the NICU moved to the new facility so we were in the old nursery for those first two nights. While the care the nurses and physicians provided was great, there were several other babies in there and it was very small.”
On March 15 Helen was moved to Kootenai Health’s new neonatal intensive care unit in the new east expansion. The new NICU provides large, private rooms for each baby, a sleeper sofa and storage for parents who wish to stay overnight with their infant, and the NICView camera system which allows parents to check in on their baby from any smartphone or computer.
“We were able to send the link to my parents back east so they could see her,” Mara said. “It also helped us introduce our 3-year-old daughter, Adeline, to Helen and made it easier to explain why we couldn’t bring her home yet.”
Mara said having a private room with storage space allowed her to bring pumping supplies to the hospital and be with Helen for as many feedings as possible.
“The variety of staff that we’ve been able to see while here is amazing,” she said. “The lactation consultants have helped us with her feeding and preparing to bring her home. I’ve been very happy with our care here, everyone communicates well and I know she’s getting the best care possible when I can’t be with her.”
To learn more about Kootenai’s new NICU and view a virtual tour, visit kh.org/neonatology.