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Neonatal unit

Everyone hopes their pregnancy will be go smoothly and their baby will be born at term and be healthy. Our Neonatal Unit (NNU) is specially designed and equipped to care for sick and premature babies if things don’t go to plan.

If you give birth early, or your baby needs caring for in a Neonatal Unit, it can be an anxious time for you and your family. We fully understand the rollercoaster of feelings you will experience if your baby is admitted to our unit. We aim to give the very best standard of care to you and your baby and have a permanent team of highly experienced medical and nursing staff who understand just how stressful a time it can be.

When your baby is admitted to the Neonatal Unit, their condition will be assessed and any necessary medical action taken. If you are unable to see your baby immediately, a digital photograph will be taken for you. We also provide knitted squares, to be placed next to mum, dad and baby to transfer each other's scent between one another. This enhances bonding and can help increase mum's breast milk supply. The equipment may seem strange and frightening, but the nursing staff will be able to explain the purpose of each item. You will always be kept informed of the progress of your baby and please do not be afraid to ask questions at any time.

You will find more information about the Unit below. Our Parent Support Co-ordinators, Pauline Woods and Sarah Weatherhead, as well as other members of staff are available for further advice.  Please watch our short film to see inside our unit and find out more about how we care for premature and sick babies:


Levels of neonatal care offered at Kingston Hospital

  • Intensive Care –two cots providing medical care for critically ill babies
  • High Dependency Unit (HDU) – four cots for babies who are not critically ill, but require continuous monitoring
  • Special Care - for low dependency babies who need some additional support e.g. with feeding, maintenance of temperature or phototherapy for jaundice.

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Feeding and relationship building

As a neonatal unit, we are working alongside the maternity unit to achieve Baby Friendly accreditation. The Baby Friendly Initiative's accreditation programme is recognised and recommended in numerous government  and policy documents across all four UK nations, including the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance. Baby Friendly accreditation is a nationally recognised mark of quality care for babies and mothers.

If your baby is admitted to the neonatal unit, due to complications or prematurity, it may be some time before your baby is bale to breastfeed. Your colostrum is like liquid gold and personalised medicine for your baby. Therefore, one of the best things that you, and only you can do, is to provide your colostrum and then your breastmilk. Your breastmilk will not only provide the nutrition to help your baby to grow but also provide antibodies to protect them from infection while they are in hospital and for years to come. This protection is especially important for premature babies. 

Your breastmilk is unique for your baby. The earlier you start to express and the more often you express, the more milk you will make for your baby's growing needs. You will receive a colostrum pack, with the necessary written information and equipment required, and a member of staff will help you.

We encourage as much skin to skin time as is medically possible. This is for both parents, however, if your baby is unable to be skin to skin on your chest, we encourage 'containment holding'. This is a form of skin to skin contact which settles and soothes your baby and helpd to develop a bond.

We view parents as partners in care and ancourage you to be a part of ward rounds each morning. This is when the Consultant will examine your baby and form a plan of care with the multidisciplinary team and you as parents.

Born Too Soon

Born Too Soon is a registered charity established in 1985 by parents and staff to offer support to parents who had a baby or babies being cared for on the Neonatal Unit at Kinston Hospital.

With the help of the local community, Born Too Soon raises funds to purchase specialist equipment for the babies on our unit as well as providing information and support to parents and their families.

For more information on please visit Born Too Soon   

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Useful links about Premature Birth

Bliss - for babies born too soon, too small, too sick Bliss, the special care baby charity, provides vital support and care to premature and sick babies across the UK. Founded 30 years ago, we offer guidance and information at a critical time in families' lives. We also fund ground-breaking research and campaign for babies to receive the best possible level of care regardless of when and where they are born.

The Twins Multiple Births Associations (Tamba) The Twins and Multiple Births Association (Tamba) is a charity set up by parents of twins, triplets and higher multiples and interested professionals. It is the only UK wide organisation that directly helps tens of thousands of parents of twins, triplets and more and professionals to meet the unique challenges that multiple birth families face.



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