University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust

What happens when I come in?

Following antenatal diagnosis of a surgical condition, you will meet with a consultant and the nurse specialist to discuss the diagnosis and subsequent treatment for your baby. After this discussion, you will have an opportunity to see the neonatal unit and some of the equipment that may be used for your baby's care. An introduction to some of the staff on duty presents an opportunity for you to familiarise themselves with them and means that there are some known faces once your baby is admitted to the unit.

Comprehensive family information leaflets relevant to your baby's condition are given to reinforce the verbal discussion and enable parents to have a reference point for further enquiries. Contact is maintained throughout the pregnancy to provide the means for you to access additional support and information.

Close liaison with health visitors is also seen as a useful element of care. Following a consultation with the surgical team, the health visitor is informed of the potential hospital admission for your baby. Often this can be known as early as 17-20 weeks of gestation and this enables the health visitor to become involved much sooner.

Home visits, both antenatally and post delivery, by the nurse specialist have also proved beneficial to parents. Post discharge visits providing support and information will be available to you.

Facilities for parents to be resident on the neonatal unit are unfortunately very limited. Priority is given to breast-feeding mothers. All parents can usually be resident for 1 - 2 nights prior to discharge. There are other facilities nearby that may be available but cannot be pre-booked and therefore may not be vacant when required. If you would like to be resident for some of your baby's stay please ask your baby's nurse.

Visiting hours

You are welcome to visit and spend time with your baby on the neonatal unit. Your baby's brothers and sisters are welcome as are grandparents and other adult family members and friends. We ask that you accompany your baby's visitors and that, if possible, they visit your baby between 2.30 and 4pm, or 6.30 to 7.30pm.

Due to limited space it is only possible to have three people visiting your baby at any one time. We do ask that you leave the nursery during doctor's ward rounds and nursing handovers. This is to ensure confidentiality for each baby and family.