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Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday: What is the Special Care Nursery?

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

A special care nursery at Sentara Martha Jefferson is all set up to accommodate babies who may need a little extra attention after birth.  It’s located next to the regular nursery, but has seven beds dedicated for babies who need some added TLC.

“Babies who need to learn a little bit more about how to eat, how to grow and stay warm,” noted Jennifer Wray, RN, team coordinator for Labor and Delivery. “Babies who have infections, maybe need antibiotics or oxygen.”

Nurses who work in the special care nursery are specially trained to care for these babies. But families are also asked to participate in their child’s care.

“We encourage families to be part of their babies care,” noted Wray. “Bonding, being able to breastfeed, having what we call ‘kangaroo care’ which is skin-to-skin time between mom specifically and the baby. It's actually a really important part of their growth and development. Even though they can be inside of an isolette, have a lot of lines and things that seem invasive, we do teaching with mom and with the family on how to kind of work with those things and be part of caring for their baby.”

In some cases, mom may be discharged home before her baby is ready. If that’s the case, parents are always welcomed back to the hospital to spend as much time as they want with their new bundle of joy.

“You are more than welcome to spend the whole day here, if it’s appropriate for mom and baby's condition, and be really an integral part in the baby's care,” said Wray.

For more information on this topic, please call 1-800-SENTARA. If you have a question about your health you’d like us to answer, email healthquestions@nbc29.com

Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday

Do you have health questions? Get the answers every Monday morning from the experts in our feature: Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday.

Jenn Downs will meet with the experts of Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital and ask them your questions. You’ll see and hear the answers during NBC29 News at Sunrise every Monday morning.

To submit your questions, email them to healthquestions@nbc29.com. Then, tune in every Monday morning during NBC29 News at Sunrise for Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday.

Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital