Mother Baby Care (MBC) at BC Women’s Hospital (BCW) Neonatal Program, provides a combined care model for postpartum mothers and their newborns babies who need level 2 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) care. In this model, mothers and newborns are cared for together in NICU in the same room by the same NICU nurse; a first in North America. This approach honours a family integrated and developmentally (1) supportive care model. It does this by eliminating separation, recognizing the mother/parents as the primary decision maker(s) for their baby and supporting mothers to provide as much of the hands-on care as possible.
Guided by the experiences and voices of women, this change was the culmination of best practice research, continuous quality improvement initiatives and patient/family involvement in the design of the new 70 single family room NICU. During a NICU co-design session a former patient challenged the Neonatal Program team to re-imagine the model of care asking “why can’t I receive my care in the same room as my baby?”
MBC supports the following evidence informed outcomes
- Reduced stress for mothers and better health and developmental outcomes for mothers and babies as a result of limiting mother-baby separation.
- Increased maternal involvement in care, associated with improved outcomes (1)
- Application of BCW’s philosophy of care that family is integral to a baby’s developmental care and the greatest influence on a baby’s health and well-being.
- A combined care model optimises resource utilization and has shown reduced length of stay for mothers and newborns.