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Significant changes in new maternity unit

Significant changes in new maternity unit

Significant changes in the new maternity unit at Tauranga Hospital are designed to enhance the safety and well-being of mothers and babies.

The unit is located on the first floor of both the west wing and north wing buildings, on the same level as theatres in the adjoining podium building. This allows mothers needing caesarean sections immediate access to theatres, and sick babies prompt admission to the special care baby unit (SCBU).

Safety and functionality are features of the new unit. This has been achieved by the co-location of birthing mothers, the SCBU and their proximity to theatres.

These physical relationships have been identified as being critical in making the unit function effectively.

There are 21 inpatient post-natal beds and two designated antenatal assessment beds on the maternity floor, which incorporates 12 cots in the SCBU. Antenatal clinics will be held in the outpatients department. The new unit has seven birthing rooms which are significantly larger than those in the existing unit.

A whanau room will be provided for people wanting to support a woman in labour. Two maternity pools – which provide relaxation in labour and reduce the need for pain relief – are provided for birthing mothers.

Consumer groups said they would like more single rooms and more bathrooms. As a result the new unit has 10 single rooms – six with individual ensuites, four double rooms and three multi-purpose rooms. Two of these will normally be used as induction rooms but can also be used as postnatal rooms. One is the SANDS (stillbirth and neonatal death support) room, specifically designed for parents dealing with a stillbirth or neonatal death. It is also able to be used as a postnatal room.

There will also be two antenatal assessment beds so women can be monitored during the day and, if necessary, stay overnight.

An emphasis has been put on moving from a clinical environment to a family atmosphere. The postnatal rooms reflect the fact that it is the baby’s first bedroom. Generally the philosophy will be to promote a baby friendly status, culturally appropriate care and a supportive environment for mothers.
Two lactation consultants will operate out of the new unit.

The SCBU will have a home-like atmosphere. Three of the 12 cots available will be for high dependency babies. The SCBU will also provide an isolation room for babies with infectious diseases and a lounge/breast feeding room and two mothercraft rooms. One will be soundproofed and this will be used for terminal care when necessary.


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