Bronovo Hospital: new outpatient clinic for premature children
Sometimes things turn out differently than expected. Mariëlle Rotten (31) still had about a month and a half to go in her pregnancy when, at 31 weeks, she felt her water break. "This isn't good," she thought.
Hospital staff helped postpone the birth for five days before baby Feline was born through a natural birth. After four days in the LUMC hospital (Leiden University Medical Centre), Feline was strong enough to move to the new Premature Babies Plus outpatient clinic at Bronovo Hospital in The Hague.
Premium care for premature babies
Bronovo’s new Premature Babies Plus outpatient clinic provides optimal attention via various medical specialists for premature children.
Prematurity (pre-term birth) occurs when a baby is born before the 37th week of pregnancy. The normal gestation period is 40 weeks.
The expat-friendly clinic is designed for pre-term children and full-term children requiring extra care, and was planned in connection with pediatrician-neonatologist Janneke Kreijen, who also cared for baby Feline.
Monitoring premature babies
The outpatient clinic currently comprises a pediatrician and physiotherapist.
As Kreijen explains, "If problems such as prematurity, anoxia (lack of oxygen) or a baby being too small for the duration of the pregnancy are detected, we can monitor mother and child from the time of their admittance to the hospital, together with the physiotherapist. In this way, we keep a watchful eye on the baby's development."
Issues with a child's normal development arising from, for example, a lack of oxygen at birth can be detected early in cooperation with, or through referral to, other specialists.
Feeding issues are prevalent among premature babies. Kreijen refers these children to a therapist who focuses on their sensitive mouth area. In time, this specialty will be included in the clinic. To provide assistance with breastfeeding, lactation consultants will also have a structural role in the outpatient clinic.
Now premature children and their mothers can already receive professional guidance at Bronovo Hospital from a specialist physiotherapist. Prior to this, care was only initiated after mother and child were home from the hospital.
In the case of Mariëlle and Feline, for example, the physiotherapist taught the mother how to make her daughter, who often "flapped" her arms and legs, as is common among premature children, feel more secure by holding her in a certain way.
Maternity ward and incubators
Bronovo's maternity ward can accommodate 20 (expectant) mothers. Children requiring special support for their respiration, nutrition and temperature needs, due to premature birth, receive care in an incubator in Bronovo's Mother-Child centre.
Bronovo has extensive experience with premature children, with 655 premature births in the hospital in the last year alone.
You can learn more about Bronovo Hospital in The Hague and the new Premature Babies Plus outpatient clinic:
› Via Bronovo's Paediatric Health Care webpage
› Tel: +31 (0) 70 312 41 41
› Address: Bronovolaan 5, 2597 AX, The Hague