May 11, 2024

Refreshed Birthing Rooms and a Renewed Special Care Nursery Give Our Smallest Patients the Best Start  

When our baby care units needed a little bit of TLC, the St. Joe’s community came together. Through donations to our spring direct mail campaign and gifts made by local families, foundations, and organizations, our Hospital’s 11 labour and delivery rooms and its special care nursery recently received a spring makeover designed to improve the patient and family experience.

Close up of hospital bed in birthing unit with decorations.

Refreshing Our Birthing Rooms 

Taking advantage of the existing footprint of each room, thoughtful changes were made to optimize the spaces. Gone are the old, unused cabinetry from the walls and floors, opening the space up to provide room for new parents to labour in the way that feels most comfortable for them. Each room has been freshly painted, with updated flooring to support the highest levels of infection control. New beds have been purchased, dimmable lighting installed, and new window treatments were added to allow more natural light into the spaces.

And while the new decor has given each room a bright, fresh look, according to staff the most popular features are two new additions to the rooms: a pull-out sleeper sofa so loved ones can stay nearby and ready-to-connect smart TV. 

Sizing Up Our Special Care Nursery 

For little ones who make their debuts a bit earlier than expected, our Special Care Nursery is here to help. St. Joe’s provides round-the-clock care for babies arriving up to 8 weeks early and those who are transferred to our care from another hospital in the region. 

Suji, an intensive care unit nurse at St. Joe’s, unexpectedly welcomed her first daughter, Yenna, ahead of schedule. After delivering Yenna at McMaster Children’s Hospital, she was transferred to St. Joe’s Level 2B Neonatal Special Care Nursery. With Yenna being early, Suji knew her daughter would need a few weeks of care and was grateful to be back at the Hospital she knows so well. 

“It was a lot for me to transfer between hospitals just 24 hours after giving birth, and leaving my baby here gave me a tremendous amount of guilt,” said Suji. “The team at St. Joe’s offered me a bunk room to stay in so I could be close to my baby. It made a world of difference.”  

Yenna is one of several babies being cared for in the newly expanded Special Care Nursery. Thanks to support from our donors, over 1,200 square-feet was added to the existing nursery. With this additional space, we’ve created larger bays to create more space for the specialized equipment these newborns need and to provide more privacy for families spending time with their infants. A new isolation room was also added through the renovation to care for infants who are more critically ill or vulnerable.

Reba and Chris are the proud parents of twin boys Ezra and Ronan and had nothing but good things to say about the care and support their family has been receiving. “It’s kind of a blessing to have this care available, especially since it gives Reba a chance to heal,” said Chris. 

The family commutes daily to Hamilton to visit their sons but can only make the trip once a day due to the distance they must travel between their home and the Hospital.

“We’re here six days a week, and take one day off to do laundry, housework, yardwork, groceries – basically, all the things we can’t do every other day while coming to the hospital,” explains Reba. “And we can only do that peacefully because we know our sons are in the very best care here at St. Joe’s.” 

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