Fast forward 15 years and I started work on Transitional Care at the Women's Hospital. The primary purpose of the ward is to keep the mother's and babies together. Here if babies are well enough, even though they still have additional needs, they can be where they belong, with their own mothers, with staff to support them and provide the extra care. Some will be babies born prematurely or of low birth weight, if they are 34 weeks or over but well they can come straight from delivery suite and we can monitor their blood sugars and other observations, keep them warm in heated cots and tube feed them until gradually they are able to feed from the breast or bottle. Babies born very prematurely can progress from NICU and here their parents, who have spent several months visiting their baby in a highly medicalised environment, can slowly gain the confidence to take their baby home, learning the ordinary skills of parenthood alongside how to give the list of medication their baby may be on. Other's too may have been born with Cleft Lip and Palate and parents will need to learn to feed their baby with a specialist feeding bottle, other's may be withdrawing from the medication that their mother had no choice but to take throughout pregnancy, often a process that requires several weeks in the hospital. Then there are some babies who have already gone home but need to be readmitted because they need treatment for jaundice or weight loss. Many of the babies need intravenous antibiotics, some of whom have been born with congenital pneumonia. All of those things we can do here on Ward Five, keeping mum's and babies together.
Thanks for taking the time to read it and please consider a donation however small at:
fundraising for Ward 5 (www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ward5bangerrally)