Prepared for Preemies
If Your Preemie or Newborn Needs Acute Medical Care, the Inova Fair Oaks Hospital NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) Provides a Comforting, Personalized and High-Tech Option
No one wants complications during childbirth, but they are all too often a reality. Laura Koscho, who gave birth at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital (IFOH) in 2014, dealt with this firsthand when she was told she had HELLP Syndrome (a variant of preeclampsia, which is a potentially life-threatening condition) and her baby would have to be delivered nine weeks early.
“You don’t plan for your child to be born early,” Laura says. “At first it was scary.”
However, her fears were quickly diminished when she spoke with the nurses at IFOH’s Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). “The nurses told me what to expect,” she says. “They gave me a timeline and they told me what was going to happen, and that really helped calm me.”
Laura’s child, now a healthy 2-year-old girl named Scarlett, was in the NICU for about six and a half weeks. During this time, Laura and her husband spent as much time as they could in the NICU, making use of the private rooms the unit offers. “I was there every day, all day long,” Laura says. “And my husband could be there every day during the week. He could work straight from the room. We even had our own family time; we celebrated Easter there and didn’t have to worry about bothering another family in the room.”
Providing a comfortable environment and personalized care is a priority at IFOH. Besides private rooms, the hospital’s NICU offers advanced technology and a high level of expertise. In addition to highly skilled nurses, the NICU staff includes social workers, case managers, lactation specialists, speech therapists, physical therapists and more. The NICU’s mission is to provide comprehensive care for premature and other sick newborns.
“As far as the NICU goes, we are on the cutting edge,” says Alan Silk, MD, Director of Neonatology at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital. “The private rooms allow parents to be intimately involved in the care of their infants, and by getting involved with our multidisciplinary team, they are ultimately better and more prepared to take their newborns home. We’re providing high-quality, high-level care in a family-centered environment.”
Certified midwives in Northern Virginia
Soon-to-be moms may want to consider including Inova Fair Oaks Hospital’s certified nurse midwives in their birth plans. They receive personal attention and one-on-one education from midwives along with the support of the hospital and its services. A certified nurse midwife is an advanced practice registered nurse who specializes in the nursing care of women during the pregnancy, labor and postpartum periods.
“Our nurse midwives are typically former labor-delivery nurses who are passionate about the labor process and making it the best possible experience for the new mother,” says Neva LaFleur, Interim Senior Director for Women and Children at IFOH. “They have a strong nursing foundation and a passion for taking care of moms and their newborns.