This Is The First NICU Center In North America To Allow Parents To Stay With Their Babies Around The Clock

"They should be in a place that feels like home."

There are approximately 15 million babies around the world that are born prematurely per year, with many going to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for treatment. The time families spend in the NICU can be a roller coaster of emotions. It's especially hard for parents when they have to leave their babies alone and return to their homes or own hospital rooms.

The BC Children's Hospital and BC Women's Hospital in Vancouver, Canada recognized this issue, and decided to do something about it with the launch of their new NICU in the new Teck Acute Care Centre. When the new building opens on Oct. 29, it will offer moms and NICU babies the opportunity to be cared for in the same room and allow parents to stay with their babies the entire time.


Babble reports that this is the first time something like this has been offered in a hospital in North America.

This new NICU has 70 private rooms with six of the rooms able to accommodate twins. The rooms are fully supplied with all of the equipment necessary to care for premature babies, as well as touches that will make the rooms feel like home. They include TVs, beds for the family to sleep, storage units, refrigerators, breast pumps, and chairs specially designed for skin-to-skin holding.

BC Children's and BC Women's Redevelopment Project explained on their website that there has been evidence that having family around speeds a patients' recovery, and the rooms allow families to remain with their little ones around the clock. They also offer the benefits of improved infection control and the ability to have physician visits and teaching without compromising patient confidentiality.

Besides the rooms, the new Teck Acute Care Centre has many other exciting features. It has been built to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) Gold standard and also offers lots of natural light and green spaces for patients to take advantage of.

Plus, the entire building has been made to have a welcoming feel.

Global News reports that hospital visitors will be greeted by an interactive digital aquarium when they enter the building which allows kids to "pick up" shells and "pop" bubbles.

The new development also has 200 murals which create a sense of comfort for kids and helps the intimidating-looking hospital equipment disappear. In rooms where medical procedures are performed, the ceiling will be lit with twinkling LED lights to mimic the night sky and constellations.

"When children need hospital care, they should be in a place that feels like home, where they can play, exercise their imagination, and be surrounded by family to help them heal," said British Columbia Premier John Horgan.

Take a look at the video below to see more of theTeck Acute Care Centre:

(H/T: Popsugar)


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