When babies/pēpi born very preterm reach 34-36 weeks corrected gestation or those with complex needs getting ready to be discharged from the hospital, our Discharge planning nurses are introduced to the family. They work through the discharge needs of each baby with the family/whānau.
The Discharge Facilitators issue a “Road to Home” pamphlet to families. The pamphlet consists of several cue boxes that are used for discussion with the parents regarding preparation for discharge, readiness of the home for baby and ongoing follow-up. It is a useful tool as it contributes to a smooth transition home.
The Outreach Nurses will be introduced to the family/whānau of the baby/pēpi being discharged from the service, prior to the discharge date. It is important that all support mechanisms and future appointments are in place so that the transition to home goes as smoothly as possible. Once the baby has been discharged to the home/kainga, the Outreach Nurse will visit both baby/pēpi and family/whānau for as long as is deemed necessary.
Parents are encouraged to spend 24-48 hours living in hospital with their baby/babies just prior to discharge. This eases the transfer to home and is an opportunity to consolidate feeding and caring for their baby. Timing will depend on space availability. We have six parent rooms available.
Babies who have Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, once they are stabilised in the hospital environment, can also be discharged into their home/kainga environment. The Outreach Nurses will visit and monitor these babies on a regular basis.This type of approach fosters a more contented baby and family.