NCCU unveils private patient lounge

NCCU unveils private patient lounge

Mater Mothers’ Neonatal Critical Care Unit (NCCU) has officially opened its private parent lounge, bedroom and quiet room to complement our services across the hospital.

Mater Mothers’ Hospitals are proud to be able to provide our privately insured families with their own quiet lounge space when visiting their baby in our care in NCCU.

Mater Mothers’ Private Brisbane mum Tia Hicks delivered baby girl Santana at just 25 weeks and said she was looking forward to having a quiet space she could just take time out without leaving the hospital.

“I dreaded being discharged from hospital and not being near my baby all the time but the addition of a lounge means I can take time out from the clinical environment, have a drink, something to eat and still be close to Santana,” Tia said.

The lounge is stocked with beverages, fresh fruits and snacks daily while the quiet room is a space for parents to be able to digest difficult conversations about their baby. The bedroom provides a space where parents can rest if they need to be close by their critically unwell baby or it can be a private place to spend final moments with their baby.

Mater Mothers’ Director of Neonatology Dr Pita Birch said the new private facilities are a wonderful addition to a space where parents live on a metaphorical rollercoaster.

“There is no difference to the care and compassion provided to our patients but it’s great to see those families who have the opportunity to activate their private health insurance receive some creature comforts in what could potentially be a very long stay,” Dr Birch said.

“We’re really proud of these new spaces,” he said.

Mum Tia said the private spaces make for a supportive stay.

“Every month we pay for private coverage–we choose to do that and it’s something we’ve always done and it’s wonderful to receive a few things to ease our stay,” Tia said.

“We’re most likely here until Christmas so it’s great to have some downtime space—because you really do need your downtime!”

Tia always knew there was a high chance her baby would be born early.

“I have Type 1 diabetes which I’ve had since I was two years old so after falling pregnant I was told I would likely develop pre-eclampsia—which to be honest I completely underestimated the seriousness of the condition,” she said.

Tia started feeling sick on a Sunday and noticed some swelling in her legs. She attended her routine appointment the next day with Nephrologist Dr Elizabeth Jarvis who took her blood pressure and told her to go to the hospital immediately.

She went straight to the Wesley Hospital where she was due to give birth, and was given steroids to boost her baby’s lungs, constantly monitoring the condition of mum and bub and hoping to hold on as long as possible.

Unfortunately not long enough and Tia needed to be transferred to Mater Mothers’ Private Brisbane where she changed obstetricians to Dr Andy Stamatiou.

“It was totally fine because we knew she was going to be early–just not this early!”

“I was very sick and Santana was delivered on 11 September at 11.01 pm.  She took two breaths and gave a little cry. They showed her to me and I thought she just looked beautiful before she was then taken to NCCU.

The next few days are a blur for Tia as the pre-eclampsia kicked in and her blood pressure was so up and down. Tia required a couple of nights in the birth suites, close to emergency facilities to monitor her condition until she stabilised.

“I had a nurse with me the whole time and she took care of me and liaised with my specialists,” she said.

“I can’t thank my specialists from both hospitals enough. I’m so grateful for everything they’ve all done,” Tia said.

Baby Santana is now three weeks old and has been moved off the ventilator to CPAP so she’s now taking breaths on her own.

“She’s very feisty!”

So what’s next?

“Now we wait. We just have to take each day as it comes and put our faith in the doctors,” Tia said.

“Even if we’re here at Christmas we’ll just manage. When you’re in this situation you just have to take it as it comes.

“Each day is a new day.”


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For urgent assessment at any stage of your pregnancy, please present to your nearest emergency centre or Mater Mothers’ 24/7 Pregnancy Assessment Centre in South Brisbane.

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