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Baptist Health Louisville NICU doubles to 8 beds, all-private rooms

Expansion and renovation of the Level II neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and nursery is the latest upgrade to maternity services at Baptist Health Louisville which is among the state’s top hospitals for maternity care.

The unit was dedicated in a brief ceremony in 2012. Speakers included Baptist Louisville President David Gray, Neonatologist Seth Schultz, MD, and Steve Trager of The Trager Family Foundation. The Trager Family Foundation has generously donated funding for nursery services and renovations.

The NICU now has eight all-private rooms, including space for twins or triplets to stay together, and a special isolation room. This doubles the number of available monitored beds for babies who need extra attention after they’re born. More than 1,500 square feet was added to the nursery by expanding the space onto the hospital’s third-floor roof. Construction and new equipment cost was about $900,000. View a video of the dedication ceremony.

The single family private rooms follow an emerging national trend in NICU design -- to provide new parents with a comfortable and private place to bond with their babies and to discuss care plans with staff.

The old-style open bay NICU allowed nurses to care for several babies at the same time – but also added to the stress for parents unaccustomed to monitoring systems and beeping alarms.

The new private rooms provide a quieter place for the babies to rest and grow. Parents can be more involved in their baby’s care – even staying overnight. With fewer interruptions to baby’s sleep, the environment is more conducive to improved development.

Baptist Louisville’s NICU is for babies born prematurely, or who need help adjusting to their new environment. The nursery is equipped to care for all but the most critically ill newborn babies. Board-certified neonatologists (specialists who care for newborns) are available 24 hours a day.