MMC Neonatal Intensive Care Unit keeps babies close to home

October 1, 2013

October 1, 2013 – Memorial Medical Center has delivered more babies than any other hospital in Southern New Mexico and now its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), is able to care for more babies than before. Two years ago, the NICU kept on average 2 babies per day. Today, an average of ten babies are staying at the MMC NICU, due to expansion and a new Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Julie Howard, Director of Women and Children’s Services explains, “MMC NICU was not able to care for babies born earlier than 35 weeks, now babies that are born at 32 weeks or greater can stay at MMC”. Previously, pre-term babies would have to be transferred outside of Las Cruces to receive care, a taxing ordeal for both babies and their parents.

Valerie Treon gave birth to pre-term twins born at 35 weeks in April 2012 at Memorial Medical Center. Valerie explains “It was a really rough time; we were a wreck, experiencing a whirlwind of emotions. We were under the impression that we would have to go somewhere else, but it was a blessing to be able to stay”. Keeping moms and babies together is something that Memorial Medical Center is proud to be able to do.

Advanced equipment such as ventilators, high flow nasal cannulae together with the ability to provide advanced procedures including TPN, exchange transfusions, insertion of PICC lines and umbilical central lines, allows the NICU at MMC to be well equipped to take care of premature and sick babies. The NICU also has breast feeding counselors to assist mothers with feeding their babies. These additional Neonatology Services have allowed MMC staff to give babies and parents a better start, as well as keep the babies in our community. “There was a lot of communication between us and the staff. Everyone was on the same team and the goal was to get the babies home, you could tell that the staff cared so much about the baby’s health” said Valerie Treon.