Women and Infants Center of Excellence
Delivering Miracles Every Day -
Conception, Pregnancy, Birth, Parenting, and more!
Our Women and Infants program provides you with the comfort and reassurance of knowing that your care is coming from a nationally recognized medical center, delivering more babies than almost all other California hospitals.
From conception to birth, Alta Bates Summit offers you outstanding care through a wide variety of services. Use the links on the left to learn more about each of our programs.
- All Together Now!
- About the NICU Nursery
- Your Baby's Developmental Needs
- Emotional Support for Your Family
- The Council for Parents Advising Parents
All Together Now!
The Women and Infants Program handles approximately 7,400 deliveries each year and is one of the largest, non-academic delivery centers in the country.
Having a healthy baby is the hope of every parent on the verge of giving birth. Expectant mothers and fathers await the baby's arrival with both anxiety and excitement. But sometimes complications arise with a pregnancy or a birth and the course takes a direction that any new parent wouldn't intend. For these babies and their families, the Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) provides an exceptional place to receive the special care they need.
Back to top
About the NICU Nursery
Physicians, parents and nurses, with their collective vision that the family is the most important element in the baby's life, designed the NICU. Together, they determined the structure and features necessary to make you comfortable as well as enable the staff to effectively treat your baby. You do not "visit" your baby in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit. Instead, you participate in your baby's care and survival, allowing you to love and nurture your baby from day one.
Alta Bates pioneered this family-centered style of intensive care nursery, providing a quieter, calmer environment than the traditional open ward style. Featuring semi-private rooms with sliding glass doors to facilitate privacy and minimize noise and low lights help promote an appropriate developmental environment, the Newborn Intensive Care Unit offers many home-like amenities for your comfort and convenience.
The family area has a kitchenette, shower, and two sleep rooms with double beds. Sitting areas throughout the nursery allow you to remain close to your infant as well as meet with physicians or other health care team members. Your other children are encouraged to visit, and they have a dedicated play area where volunteers lead activities.
The unit has its own pharmacy, nurses who provide lactation support, respiratory therapists, discharge planners, a clinical specialist, social workers, and a transport team.
Back to top
Your Baby's Developmental Needs
Above taking care of your baby's physical needs, the Newborn Intensive Care Unit staff focuses on your infant's developmental needs. Our physicians, nurses and staff understand that sick full-term babies or premature babies, can experience the human sensations of sight, sound, pleasure and pain as well as interact with their environment and their caregivers.
Our Neonatologists (specially trained Physicians), Clinical Nurse Specialists, Neonatal Nurses, Respiratory Therapists, Social Workers, Discharge Planners and Audiologists are skilled in understanding and responding to your baby's signals.
The staff offers three programs in the nursery to further your baby's development: Compassionate Touch Program, Parent Share, and the Council for Parents Advising Parents. In additional, the Newborn Intensive Care Unit promotes Kangaroo Holding, an activity that encourages parental bonding and development. This skin-to-skin contact can begin early in your baby's life.
Back to top
Emotional Support for Your Family
Coping with the problems that may arise with an early or difficult birth create many difficulties for your family. In addition to concern for your baby's health and well being, you may often feel overwhelmed with feelings of guilt or despair over your baby's health and well being.
The staff and physicians at the Alta Bates Summit Newborn Intensive Care Unit are here to help you through this difficult time, looking after both you and your baby and providing the exceptional medical care and support that lead in the direction of a positive outcome. From nurturing your baby's development to helping you strengthen the bond between you and your baby makes the Newborn Intensive Care Unit an extra special place for your and your baby.
The Compassionate Beginnings Program trains nurses and Occupational therapists to facilitate bonding through touch, a vitally important element in caring for a premature or ill baby. The program teaches moms and all who care for the baby how to approach the baby and look for the cues that the baby wants to be touched, how to ask the baby's permission to be touched, and how to recognize when the baby needs to rest. Because most of the unit's babies receive multiple invasive treatments, it is essential to also provide positive touching time to the baby.
Parent Share, a support group that meets six times each month, offers information and encouragement, as well as a chance to meet other parents coping with the same kind of emotional distress that comes with having a premature or ill baby. A nurse who had a premature baby, and a mother of a premature baby facilitate the group.
Back to top
The Council for Parents Advising Parents
This group of parents and Newborn Intensive Care Unit staff members meets to discuss ways in which the unit provides resources, education and policies to see if there is room for improvement. Parents have the opportunity to call each other for support, as well as keep in contact with their physicians and nurses.
Back to top
Women's Health Center in Lafayette
NICU Nursery Photo Tour
Labor and Delivery Photography, Video and Audio Recording Policy
Women's Health (LifeStages for Women)
Alta Bates Campus
2450 Ashby Avenue
Phone: (510) 204-1626
View Alta Bates Campus Map