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 Published: 29/11/2011

Parent infant nursery

At National Women’s there has been a longstanding appreciation that parents needed to be empowered to take over the care of their babies. Part of the process involved "demedicalising" infants and providing an environment where parents were supported in their efforts to incorporate the baby into their family.  In 1999 the concept of PIN - the Parent-Infant Nursery - was introduced, which stressed the importance of family involvement.

PIN is an area in which it is hoped parents find those transitions easier to undertake.  Parents are encouraged to be with their babies as much as possible.  The environment is less technologically intrusive and will only look after infants who do not require cardiorespiratory monitoring.  Saturation and apnoea monitoring is permitted.  Babies may require low-flow oxygen by nasal prongs, but will not be on CPAP.  Babies may be nasogastrically fed but will not receive intravenous fluids.

The transition to sucking feeds is positively encouraged and supported within PIN.  The focus of the nursery is one of preparing all parties for discharge.  It is a time when parents may feel, for the first time ever, that they have become parents of an infant who may have been critically ill in the newborn period.

There is a mother's only lounge between PIN and the Level 2 area, where mothers can rest, have a drink or bite to eat, or express in relative quiet.  Many parents will also use the Parents overnight rooms prior to being discharged.