Special care for a special baby

Welcoming a new life into the world is a joyous time. But not every birth goes as planned and not every baby gets to stay with mom after delivery. Newborns needing extra care are often brought to the Special Care Nursery at Bayhealth Hospital, Kent Campus.

That’s the situation Katy Zubrick found herself in earlier this year. Katy and her husband Chris welcomed their fourth child, Lane, in late September. Lane came at 36 weeks. He was having issues breathing after delivery and was immediately brought to the Special Care Nursery at Bayhealth, a place Katy and Chris were already very familiar with. Two years prior when the Zubricks welcomed their third child, Amily, she also needed care in the Special Care Nursery. Amily was also born at 36 weeks and weighed just four pounds.

The 15-bed Level II Special Care Nursery at Bayhealth Hospital, Kent Campus was designed for infants needing more intensive, specialized care. The Special Care Nursery has a trained neonatology team, including board-certified neonatologists, neonatal nurse practitioners, staff nurses, and respiratory therapists, who provide expert care to premature and newborn babies with more complex medical conditions. The Special Care Nursery serves many surrounding hospitals in southern Delaware.

“I never thought I would have two babies in the Special Care Nursery,” said Katy. “When Amily was there, I remember I was just so scared. It wasn’t anything I’d ever experienced before. But as soon as we met the staff I was immediately at ease.”

While the Zubricks were in shock that they needed to return to the Special Care Nursery with their fourth child, both said they were better prepared for their second experience.

“I was okay with Lane being in the Special Care Nursery,” said Katy. “I knew he was in great hands, and what is even more special about the experience was that Lane and Amily actually had the same nurse. That was huge for us to know we already had such a good experience, and we were going to have the same nurse again.”

Laura Wedel, MSN, RNC-OB, cared for Amily and Lane during their time in the Special Care Nursery. “We try to be very sensitive and understanding of our families,” she said. “You don’t typically plan for a baby in the Special Care Nursery, but it’s our job to make sure our babies and their families are well taken care of. The Zubricks were such a wonderful family. I wanted to make their experience as meaningful as possible.”

Chris noted another comfort he felt during his children’s time in the Special Care Nursery was that his wife was also being taken care of. “It was nice to know that Katy’s needs were addressed too — that helped the experience,” said Chris.

After six days in the Special Care Nursery, Lane was able to go home to adjust to life with his three older siblings. Lane is beginning to stay awake longer and is showing his first signs of smiling. “It definitely wasn’t part of our plan to have two of our babies in the Special Care Nursery, but it was also comforting knowing our babies were in good hands,” said Katy. “The whole experience was so positive, and we can’t say enough about the nurses. It’s like there’s a family member watching your baby for you. There’s no peace of mind better than that.”
Visit Bayhealth.org/Maternity-Obstetrics for more information on Bayhealth services for expectant mothers, including information about Bayhealth’s Special Care Nursery.


Educating patients about postpartum depression

The National Institute for Healthcare Management estimates between 10 and 20 percent of women experience postpartum depression during pregnancy or in the first 12 months postpartum. Symptoms include sadness, anxiety, poor bonding with baby, and loss of interest in one’s self. Bayhealth is now screening new mothers for symptoms of postpartum depression to ensure patients receive information about resources available to them. Community providers are also taking action. Some OB-GYNs now see patients two weeks after birth instead of six.


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