Madison Hospital’s well-baby nursery has been reclassified as a Level II “special care” nursery.
Level II is an intermediate step between a well-baby nursery and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). That means the Madison Hospital nursery can now care for premature infants born as early as 32 weeks and babies with moderate health problems.
Pediatrician Stephanie Israel, MD, said the switch to a Level II nursery is already benefiting families in and around Madison.
Some babies that previously would have been transferred to the Level III NICU at Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children can now receive this high-quality care closer to home, said Dr. Israel. That makes it easier for parents to visit the nursery often and for new moms to stop by to breastfeed.
“The closer you are, the more time you can spend with your baby,” said Dr. Israel. “That’s huge.”
In addition to caring for children born at Madison Hospital, the nursery now accepts NICU babies from the Madison area who no longer need the highest level of care, said Renee Colquitt, CRNP, Madison Hospital’s Lead Coordinator of OB Services.
The move to Level II did not require a physical expansion of the nursery. That’s because healthy, full-term babies born at Madison Hospital spend as much as 23 hours a day in their parents’ hospital room.