Thursday, May 3, 2018
Our smallest hearts inspire us
For the birth of your child, you deserve the best care possible, so when things don't go quite as planned, you need to know you and your child are in life-saving hands. Marshfield Medical Center's Level III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) provides the highest level of care in central and northern Wisconsin, and for over 50 years, we've cared for thousands of high-risk infants.
"Babies are incredible," said Dr. Amy Blake, a Marshfield Clinic neonatologist. "Despite significant illness and long NICU stays, so many of them are able to heal, grow and develop into strong little kids."
Marshfield has specialized services available on-site 24/7 to give timely, personalized care based on your baby's specific needs. As part of Marshfield Children's Hospital, a highly experienced team of medical professionals that includes neonatologists, specialized neonatal nurses, maternal fetal medicine specialists, respiratory therapists, dietitians and lactation consultants, provides compassionate care for the smallest neonates and their families. We also have support of pediatric subspecialties, including surgeons for emergency situations.
Guiding you through the journey
Marshfield's NICU care starts with our NICU transport team, which on average, transports about 100 patients per year, including babies and older pediatric patients. Marshfield averages about 300 newborn admissions to our NICU each year.
Marshfield has three maternal fetal medicine specialists, who take care of our high-risk mothers experiencing pregnancy complications. Once your pregnancy is deemed high-risk, like having twins, our physicians will be with you every step of the way from ultrasound and diagnosis, to monitoring labor and delivery.
"Every person here loves their job," Dr. Blake said. "We get the privilege, every day, of taking care of these amazing little people. The love that our staff has for their work is evident in their experience -- much of our staff has been here for years or even decades. That translates into both passion and incredible expertise in caring for the smallest patients here at Marshfield."
Only the best
Since 2012, the NICU has had a webcam system, which allows parents and family members with granted permission see their baby day and night with a mobile device or computer. When you have to return to work or home, our NICU provides a virtual view in real time to look after your child.
Ronald McDonald House of Marshfield welcomes families with a child, 18 or younger, who is cared for here. If you live out of town, you will not have to leave Marshfield while your child is in our care.
High tech with high touch
We know parents of newborns want to hold their newborn baby. Marshfield's NICU encourages Kangaroo Care, a method that involves skin-to-skin contact at 24 weeks gestation and beyond.
"For parents, kangaroo care helps them to bond with their infant, and for breastfeeding mothers, kangaroo care can improve milk supply," said Dr. Blake. "When a baby needs special attention after birth because of prematurity or illness, skin-to-skin care may be delayed, but we encourage kangaroo care as soon as baby is stable -- ideally within the first days to weeks of life."
Big city care in our small town
Marshfield's NICU provides experience and resources to help give your child the care they need. Dr. Blake says the best part is seeing former patients after they've gone home.
"You'd never guess that some of them started out so small," she said. "That resilience is so inspiring to me."