January 18, 2019

Twin Rooms Will Make Life More Comfortable for Families

The addition of new twin rooms at Saskatchewan’s new Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital will make it easier for moms to care for their newborns with the comforts of home.

The five twin rooms, which will be located on the fourth floor of the new children’s hospital, will be spacious enough to accommodate twins and triplets with the largest being just over 350 square feet. The room will include a pull out davenport couch and a closet for personal belongings.

Right now, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Saskatoon is made up of seven bays, accommodating four to six babies each, which also includes medical equipment and chairs with very little room for parents to care for their newborns.

“When you are working in a space where it is often standing room only it is very difficult to put twin babies in the same bay and at the same time,” says Adele Riehl, manager of NICU and NICU Transport. “We always have twins in the unit so it is hard for families to be moving around from one area to another.”

Saskatoon mother, Lindsey Blakley, who had two twin boys on October 11, 2018, said the care from nursing staff was amazing, but the NICU is an environment that can be very stressful.    

Blakley’s son Mattaeo weighed four pounds, 10 ounces and twin brother Oliver was three pounds, three ounces at birth. They were always in the same bay, but it took about a week for the boys to be side by side.

Blakley said the new twin rooms in the children’s hospital will be an enormous benefit for parents and families.

“I know the nurses are doing everything they can in the NICU now. Some of them have babies across the room and in other bays and they have their assignments running back and forth.”

Dr. Laurence Givelichian, provincial head of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Saskatchewan, said keeping families together makes it better for everyone.

“With the twins and parents in the same room they don’t have to go from one room to another making sure their babies are okay. It is easier for the mother to breast feed both babies being in the same location so altogether it’s satisfaction for families and for their babies’ outcome. It is a win-win situation for our children.”

The goal for Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation has always been and will continue to be a family-based care approach for the new children’s hospital. With only two out of five twin rooms currently named by generous donors, ongoing support is still needed to help fund equipment and enhancements that will help ensure families can stay closer together while their twin babies are in the NICU.

“Funding special spaces like these twin rooms is exactly what our “We are Saskatchewan,” campaign is all about,” said Brynn Boback-Lane, president and CEO of Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation. “Keeping families together is what Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital philosophy of care is committed to deliver. Our tiniest patients will stay together with their own specialized room within the new children’s hospital, giving the babies and family the best start possible.”

If you want to support special spaces, equipment and enhancements at Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital, please donate at pattisonchildrens.ca/donate.

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