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NICU - possible to switch hospitals?

Japan With Kids - Forums: Health Topics: Pregnancy/Birth/Childrearing: NICU - possible to switch hospitals?
By CloudCloudC on Monday, May 22, 2006 - 6:46 pm:

Does anyone know much about NICUs in the Tokyo Area? I was hospitalized at Aiiku hospital due to PG complications but got transferred to Toho University Hospital in Omori when I started contractions as Aiiku's NICU was getting full and they couldn't find any NICU beds in Tokyo at that point. Our boy is now still in NICU at Toho U. Hospital (he was born at 23 weeks and is now about 30 weeks). We are hoping to be able to transfer him when he becomes more stable and are looking for good NICUs in the Tokyo area. We heard that Kokuritsu, Women's College and St. Luke's are good but no one seem willing to give us a real ranking. We want to find a place that is more progressive, including progressive visiting policy (Toho only allows one hour a day while we heard Kokuritsu has a 24 hour visiting poilcy) with Neonatologists who speak decent English (we are really struggling with communicating with our son's doctor in Toho as he speaks little English). Thank you.

By Bethan Hutton on Monday, May 22, 2006 - 11:20 pm:

I don't have any direct experience of the NICU at St Lukes, but I have had a lot of experience with other areas of the hospital, and can definitely recommend it in terms of facilities, professionalism and availability of English-speaking doctors. The switchboard isn't great with English speakers, but once you are actually there, plenty of English-speaking doctors and nurses pop out of the woodwork, paperwork is usually bilingual, and I think they also have a volunteer interpreter/guide system.

One friend's baby was in the NICU for a week or so after birth, and she seemed very happy with the care there. They have reasonably enlightened visiting policies for the maternity ward (fathers/siblings allowed 24 hours a day) and rooming-in with newborns, so my guess would be that they would be similarly sympathetic abotu NICU visiting, but you would have to check directly.

By Blue Sky on Tuesday, May 23, 2006 - 12:14 am:

If you are in a position to choose an NICU, which many people are not due to the circumstances they find themselves in at the time of the birth of their baby, there are several things you need to look for:
* Do they offer Kangaroo Care?
See Dr Nils Bergman's website
From the website:
This is a well documented and biologically sound method of care for all newborns, but in particular for premature babies, with three components ...

1 Skin-to-skin Contact
2 Exclusive breastfeeding
3 Support to the mother infant dyad
The premature baby is not only extremely immature, but its well-being is dependent on continuing its gestation in skin-to-skin contact with mother, and receiving its own mother's milk which is uniquely adapted to the immature gut.
The stories/photos on his website are incredible. There is more and more research to back up this model of care for preemies now.

* How much time will the hospital allow you to spend with your baby, and in particular, using Kangaroo Care?

* What are the hospital's policies on breastfeeding for preemies? Do they offer facilities, equipment and support for mothers who are expressing their milk and bringing it into the hospital for their babies?

* Do all family members have access to the baby and for how long?

* How far is the hospital from your home? (You will most likely be commuting there every day)

*Do you have access to a hospital grade breast pump? This is the most effective way to establish and keep your breast milk supply up until your baby is able to learn to directly breastfeed. See
for rental pumps. Please note you need to buy the Double pump kit listed on that page to go with the model of rental pump you select.

* Are you able to arrange for extra help at home? You will probably be at the hospital for most of the time, and it is not always possible to keep on top of everything at home too.

Wishing you and your baby well.

By Tchan on Friday, March 28, 2008 - 3:49 am:

I recently gave birth to a 26week preemie at a hospital in Otsuka where my son is currently in the NICU. My husband and I live in Ome (two hours away from the hospital). Aside from the distance to the hospital I've become a bit frustrated with the hospital for several reasons. The one hour a day visiting policy for one, but the worst being that I haven't been allowed to visit or hear anything about my son for a week now, because it turns out I was housed in the same room as someone who had measles. I was hospitalized for 2 weeks in 6 person rooms during which time I was moved at least 5 times so no telling exactly when I was exposed to measles. So until the results of a measles test come back I'm allowed no contact with my son, not even information over the phone because of security reasons. I've done research and know there are at least 3 hospitals with NICUs close to me and so I am wondering if it's at all possible to have my son transferred once something opens up?
If anyone has any experience with NICUs here I would appreciate it very much

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