Things to Consider When Choosing Where to Have Your Baby

April 03, 2014

When you’re deciding where to have your baby, you want to consider every aspect of care – including the specialized services you’ll need if something doesn’t go as planned.

 “Providence Tarzana has the equipment and staff necessary to care for babies with complex and challenging conditions,” says Tamera Martin, RN CLE, clinical nurse manager of the Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The NICU is staffed by specially trained doctors, nurses and support staff, who know how to care for babies born prematurely or with other special needs.

Choosing a hospital with a NICU is especially important for mothers who know their pregnancy is high-risk, but it’s a smart choice for any mother-to-be.

“We’re very family-centered,” says Martin. Parents can spend up to 22 hours a day with their baby, and are encouraged to hold the child skin-to skin, a practice known as Kangaroo care. Kangaroo care is just as beneficial to an infant’s growth and development as is medicine. Ariana West quickly learned the benefits of Kangaroo care when her son Shai was born prematurely, weighing 2 pounds, 1 ounce.

“They showed us the softer side of medical care,” Ariana explains. “They really took care of our baby, not just from the medical side, but also from the very basic human level of loving and caring for him, until he was ready to go home.”

The California Children’s Services certified NICU at Providence Tarzana can provide specialized care and surgery for critically ill infants regardless of birth weight or gestational age.

“Right here in the Valley we can provide many of the surgeries done at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles,” says Jim Banks, M.D., medical director of the NICU at Providence Tarzana.

Since a lot of high-risk situations can’t be predicted in advance, parents should choose a hospital that is capable of an immediate response to any high risk situation that might evolve. Healthy babies are born every day at Providence Tarzana. Many of those who were born here are now returning, years later, to deliver babies of their own. But it’s also reassuring to know that there’s specialized care available if something unexpected should happen, just as it did with the Wests.