Preemies and Medically Fragile Infants
The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh was founded in 1984 as Transitional Infant Care Hospital, or TIC. This special infant program was designed to help parents of babies who were born premature or with medical conditions that necessitated a stay in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, or NICU.
The philosophies of this program remain today as part of our infant services for preemies and medically fragile infants:
- To provide a transition from hospital to home for babies and their families
- To help families take control of the decision making regarding their baby’s care
- To provide families one-on-one time with neonatal nurses and pediatric nurses to allow families to ask questions and learn hands-on to care for their infant’s complex medical needs
- To allow families to learn to care for their infant on the same equipment they will use at home
- To offer a calm, home-like environment that provides a healthy setting for infant growth and development
- To help parents and siblings adjust to new roles and responsibilities
- To allow overnight stays for parents to practice caring for their infant “on their own” with the knowledge that nursing staff is nearby
The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh also offers special programs for parents of full-term infants who may be receiving IV antibiotics or weaning from medications that make hospitalization necessary but that don’t require a prolonged stay in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, or NICU. The Children’s Home also offers special services for babies receiving hospice care.
All parents and siblings are welcome to stay overnight and to fully participate in the care of their infant and utilize all the services that The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh offers.
The Nursery Environment
The nursery atmosphere is calm and quiet. Carefully selected music plays softly. The nursery is lit by natural light through large abundant windows with shades, and offers natural cycles of day and night, more like what a baby will experience at home.
Small clusters of four crib spaces allow your family to have privacy, while the open nursery design allows nurses to see, hear and monitor every infant at all times. Crib spaces are enclosed by partial walls and large curtains that can be open or closed when family members are caring for their infant.
Each crib and isolette has a rocking chair beside it and a handmade baby quit: a getting-ready-to-go-home gift from our volunteers. You may also bring clothes, mobiles and approved toys for your baby.
- Electric breast pumps and nursing support are available for nursing mothers. There is a lactation specialist on staff.
- Multiple private, fully equipped breastfeeding / pumping rooms include a rocking chair, sink, hospital grade pumps, accessories, breastfeeding resources, TV, and plenty of space.
- Infant massage therapy is taught to families by The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh’s infant development specialist. Used to relax the baby, this technique is a great one to take home.
- Specially trained volunteers provide “baby holding” for families who want it, so your baby can be held even during the times when you can’t be there.