Special Care Baby Unit SCBU

This is a special unit for babies that are born early or are unwell at birth. The doctors and nurses will work with you to decide what is the best care for your baby and you will always be kept fully informed of your baby’s progress. Only small or very unwell babies are transferred out of Hawke’s Bay.   The role of family/whānau is very important, and staff will help you remain in contact with your baby while in SCBU.

Helping you to protect your baby from infection

Babies in SCBU must be protected from infection wherever possible.

Hands must be washed immediately on entering the unit. This is to prevent the spread of infections that are carried on the skin; in particular colds and flu, which are carried both in the air and on objects such as furniture, hands, baggage, clothing, etc. Sterigel hand rub is also available on your baby's cot.

Visitors policy

The visiting policy has been developed to ensure the safest and most secure environment for your baby, by minimising infection risk, protecting a family's individual privacy, and providing an environment that promotes baby's well-being and development.

We encourage you to visit your baby or babies as often as you want.

Visitors are welcome, however, if you are not in the unit, or you have not given written permission visitors will not be admitted to the unit. We recommend no more than two people at the baby's cot at any one time, including parents.

Baby's health and safety can be affected by over stimulation particularly if they are early or unwell. By limiting the number of people at the bedside this reduces noise, activity, infection risk and helps in baby's rest and well-being. Newborn babies, especially premature babies, are prone to infection, particularly respiratory infections.

The only children who can visit are brothers and sisters of the baby. Other well children over 14 years of age are allowed. 

Visiting hours for other than immediate family are 2pm–7pm. Brothers and sisters of babies in SCBU must be supervised at all times.

Breastfeeding your baby

You can still breastfeed your baby while he/she is in the unit and we will support you with this. Breast milk is very important for babies so even if your baby is not yet able to breast feed, you will be helped to express your milk for your baby.

Parents rooms

Parent rooms are available when your baby is close to discharge. We aim for all parents to room in with their baby at least one night prior to discharge to enable parents to feel more confident on discharge. Meals are provided for parents living in.

Social worker

A social worker is available on request – ask your baby’s nurse to arrange an appointment for you. They are able to provide support and information on community and financial support.