LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR NICU AND MATERNAL CARE CAMPAIGN
St. Michael’s has launched a $10-million fundraising campaign to build Canada’s only neonatal intensive care and maternity unit on the same floor of a large hospital so no matter what babies or their moms need, the top experts are right there, 24/7.
We’ve seen it again, and again. The overwhelming, indescribable love when parents hold their babies for the first time. And the shattering fear in their eyes when something goes wrong.
WE ARE BUILDING
Every year, St. Michael’s Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) cares for some of the most fragile babies and their moms. Many of the babies are born right here at our hospital. Some are transferred to us from health-care centres across Ontario.
That’s because we are home to globally renowned experts in highly specialized fields of pregnancy. The moms in our care have a range of medical conditions. They might be critically injured from an accident. They might suffer from hypertension, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, bleeding disorders, multiple sclerosis, cancer, kidney disease or cardiovascular challenges. Some of our patients have HIV or are experiencing substance abuse withdrawal. Many moms come in for a normal delivery, but then the unexpected happens.
While our care is extraordinary, we need more space and better facilities to match it. That’s why we are building a state-of-the-art NICU, a maternity space with obstetrics and gynecology and a recovery unit all on a single floor.
THE GOLD STANDARD
The design is based on the world’s gold standard known as Family Integrated Care (FiCare). In the FiCare model, families stick close to vulnerable newborns. That includes private double rooms in which parents and baby can sleep and relax. It means parents working alongside nurses, fully involved in their baby’s care, from changing diapers to participating in daily rounds. It means shared spaces throughout the floor each for different stages in a baby’s journey to wellness.
In the majority of other hospitals, moms and babies who need care go to separate floors. But the science tells us that fragile babies who stay close to mom in their first days and weeks show better language and cognitive development compared to those who remain in traditional open-concept NICUs. It tells us that FiCare babies have lower infection rates, breastfeed more easily, gain weight faster and go home sooner.
“We’re not just creating a nice space. We are fundamentally changing the way babies are cared for.” JOIN US.
"I was told I was dying, and that my only choice was to deliver the baby that night or risk both of our lives. Thankfully, St. Michael's NICU was in control.
My newborn son, Malachy, was in the hands of the hospital’s very skilled and caring doctors and nurses. But the NICU team did not just care for Malachy. They cared for me. They helped me see the sunshine through the darkness. They healed my son, and my heart."
Kerry O’Reilly Wilks
Mother of Malachy, St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation board member and donor
Tiny baby Sophia came into the world weighing 1.5 kilograms. While her mom, who’d had a complicated pregnancy, recovered in the ICU, Sophia was recovering in the NICU.
“I was surrounded by love and care that helped me get through. I can’t praise the doctors and nurses at the hospital enough. They are like family to me. They saved my life.”
Beatriz Ramos Sena de Macedo
Mother of Sophia, St. Michael’s Hospital donor
PREGNANT DURING A PANDEMIC
Being pregnant can be daunting. Being pregnant during a pandemic is a whole other story. But then I think about how lucky I am. To have the resources, the support systems, and the access to quality health care, that many women lack. To be a patient at a hospital that advocates for those very women. A hospital renowned for taking on some of the world’s toughest health challenges. A hospital abundant with fearless frontline workers who put themselves at risk day in and day out to keep people like me safe. I am grateful.
St. Michael’s Patient, St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation staff member and mother-to-be