Newborn and premature infants ward
There are no fixed visiting hours on the ward for premature and newborn babies.
In principle, visits are possible at any time. Due to admissions of patients, rounds and examinations, it is possible that you may not be able to be with your child for some time. During this time you have the possibility to take a seat in the parents' room in front of the ward. At noon between 13:00 and 14:00h the shift change at the nurses' station takes place with a longer handover. To avoid longer waiting times, you should not plan any visits during this time.
From about 22:00h onwards, all children should start their night's rest so that a natural day-night rhythm can develop, which is important for the patients' recovery. In special situations, however, you can also stay with your child during the night.
Of course, siblings, grandparents and friends may also visit your child. However, for organizational reasons only two people should visit your child at the same time. As a rule, one of these persons should always be a parent.
If the siblings suffer from a feverish infection, diarrhoea or a childhood disease such as chickenpox, they should not enter the ward during this time.
We offer mothers whose children have to stay in our inpatient care for a longer period of time and who do not live in Hanover a place to live on the MHH grounds so that they can always be with their child quickly. On the ward there is a parents' room that can be used for consultations as well as for the withdrawel of breast milk.
In addition to the individual care on the ward, we offer regular discussion groups for the parents of the children who are cared for in our department (Tuesdays 16:00-17:00h and the Infocafé on Mondays at noon). In these groups there is the opportunity to exchange experiences and information. These discussions are supervised by one of our psychologists, a lbreastfeeding consultant and a senior physician of the ward. If you wish, you can also have one-on-one consultations with one of our psychologists or counseling staff. We also offer music therapy.
Furthermore, our psycho-social team is available to assist you if necessary. They will help you especially when it comes to matters that need to be settled with health insurance companies, government offices or other institutions. Our experienced team of social medical aftercare is at your disposal for questions and organizational matters, not only during your discharge but also afterwards.
During your inpatient stay, you and your child will be advised and accompanied by our psycho-social team if necessary. In addition, our team of psycho- social aftercare is available to you all around the discharge.
If you could not see your child immediately after the treatment in the delivery room because immediate medical treatment was necessary , you can come to the neonatal intensive care unit (ward 69) in the pediatric clinic at any time as soon as possible. If you are still not feeling well, you can also be brought in a wheelchair or in bed to see your child.
Of course. Often the children receive stuffed animals, lucky charms or even a music box as a gift from their parents and relatives. Please take care to the size of the toys,as the space in the incubator or warming bed is limited.
As soon as your child's condition allows it, we will enable you to cuddle. This applies to mother and father, just as you wish. We place your child on your bare chest, even if he or she still needs artificial respiration or respiratory support, so that you can enjoy this intensive contact and your child feels the smell, the warmth, the heartbeat and the skin of its parents. Usually this is for an hour - so bring enough time so that you and your child can enjoy cuddling.
Of course you can take photos or film your child at any time. But make sure that only your child and your partner or visitor is in the picture and not other children or their surveillance monitors.
Every child in the intensive care unit is monitored with at least 3 electrodes that are attached to the chest and a small, red glowing sensor that is attached to the hand or foot. This allows us to read the heart rate, respiratory rate and oxygen saturation in the blood on the monitor. Upper and lower limits are set for each parameter. If these are exceeded or fallen below, the monitor gives us an alarm. We then take care of your child immediately. Very often your child is restless and the monitor generates a false alarm because the measurements are very sensitive to movement.
What should the child's body temperature be?
The body temperature should be between 36.5°C and 37.5°C. If your child is still lying in an incubator or warming bed, it is not yet able to regulate its body temperature itself. You or we will then measure the body temperature at each change of diaper and then regulate the temperature of the incubator or warming bed accordingly.
Newborns, whether born too early or not, can only recognize light and dark at the beginning. You will soon notice this when you are dealing with your child.
Children can hear even before birth. This is why it is so important that you talk to your child when you visit or cuddle. They may not yet be able to see you properly, but they will definitely recognize the voices of their parents.
Certainly not at the beginning. Through the planning of the ward procedures and the night's rest (no visiting hours if possible - except in exceptional cases) we try to create a natural rhythm for the children.
During pregnancy, your child had, among many other comforts, the soothing limitation of your belly. We try to recreate this in the incubator by placing your child in a nest and at times covering it almost completely. That way it feels safe and secure.
In the first days of life, all newborn children get the so-called neonatal jaundice, which is visible by a yellowing of the skin and can also be measured in the blood. This form of jaundice is not a disease, but a consequence of the not yet fully developed liver function. In premature babies, this jaundice is often more severe and must therefore be treated with blue light more often than in the mature newborn. The children do not notice this. Only the eyes are covered with protective goggles against the bright light. In the course of treatment, the yellow coloration of the skin fades away. There is no tanning or damage to the skin.
In the intensive care unit of the ward your child and you need the most support and help. In this ward one nurse looks after one to three children. If your child is on the intermediate care unit, he or she will feel better and step by step you can take over more and more of your child's care. In this ward one nurse looks after three to six children. This is also the time for you to get to know your baby before it goes home. You can care for your child independently, but the nurses are also there for support at any time.
If your child was born very early or has a serious illness and needs constant observation all over the body, it is placed in an incubator. Later it moves into a warming bed. For very small premature babies this is usually possible with a body weight of 1400 - 1500 g. In the course of time, depending on how stable your child's body temperature is, the heat supply via the warming bed is regulated down and finally switched off completely.
In general, we recommend that all children should be fed on breast milk. Although industrial baby foods are now very good, none can completely replace breast milk. This is especially true for the good digestibility of the food components in breast milk as well as the antibodies and defence cells against infectious diseases contained in it. There are very few situations in which feeding with breast milk is not recommended. These include an infection of the mother with the HIV virus (with restrictions also infection of the mother with hepatitis viruses) and the taking of certain medications. Especially the latter should always be individually coordinated with the treating physicians. A maternal infection with the cytomegalovirus is generally not a problem, even for premature babies, since cytomegaloviruses are almost completely inactivated by a 3-day freezing process and therefore do not pose any relevant risk to the infant. Therefore, if breast milk is to be fed to premature infants less than 32 weeks old, it is frozen for 3 days.
But also mothers who for various reasons cannot or do not want to breastfeed their babies need not worry about feeding them. For the feeding of infants who are not or not fully breastfed, high-quality industrial breast milk substitutes are available today, because the composition of breast milk is the reference for the production of industrial infant food.
Premature infants receive premature baby food that is specially adapted to the needs of the premature baby. At a body weight of about 3500 g (corresponding to the average weight of a mature newborn) we switch to the so-called pre-nutrition, which largely corresponds to mother's milk in its composition. Both the premature infant formula and the pre-nutrition are commercially available without any problems in pharmacies or stores. If allergies play a major role in your family, feeding hypoallergenic (HA) food is also possible.
After the birth of your child, it may be possible for various reasons that your child is not yet able to drink at the breast. You can then express your breast milk at the gynaecological clinic or on our ward 69 and, after your discharge, at home as well. We can supply you with the sterile bottles. Each bottle must be labelled with your name, the date and time when you expressed the milk. Breast milk expressed at home must be refrigerated (7-8°C) or frozen. The cold chain (from expresing the milk until feeding) must not be interrupted in order to avoid colonization with bacteria. Please bring the milk expressed at home (preferably in a cooling box with cooling batteries) to the milk kitchen of the pediatric clinic by 15:00h every day. The milk kitchen is located near the entrance area of the pediatric clinic.
Expressed breast milk which is delivered later than 15:00h to the clinic is temporarily stored on our ward and delivered to the milk kitchen the next morning.
At the beginning it is hardly possible to give exact information when your child can be discharged.
Discharge is very individual and ultimately determined by the state of health of your child. Depending on how early your child was born and how ill he or she was at the beginning, an inpatient stay of weeks or months may be necessary. A rule of thumb is that discharge is usually possible shortly before the calculated date of birth. Be patient and give your child the time it needs. Always remember with your prematurely born child that the birth was actually planned by nature at a later time and that it should not yet be able to do many things such as breathing and eating, but should actually prepare itself in the womb for its life. If your child is able to maintain his or her own temperature, if the heart rate, respiration and oxygen saturation of the blood are stable, if he or she can drink the entire daily amount of food by himself or herself and is increasing in size, and if you are confident in your child's handling, a discharge is possible.
Basically there is no defined discharge weight. However, it is important for your child to be well, to be able to maintain his or her own body temperature and to be able to drink his or her own food completely by himself or herself and to gain 20-30g/day. A discharge is therefore generally not possible below a body weight of 1800 g.
Depending on how early your child was born or how ill it was, the stay with us can last a few days, weeks or even months. If your child can then go home with them, he or she is well prepared and you can basically do the same things as the parents whose children did not have any problems after birth.