Some common reasons as to why a baby might be admitted into Special Care include being born prematurely (before 37 weeks gestation), if they experience breathing difficulties or if they require IV fluids to maintain safe blood sugar levels. 

Both Epworth Freemasons and Epworth Geelong are accredited to admit babies from 32 weeks gestation.

Babies admitted to the Special Care Nursery receive specialised care and are kept under observation 24 hours a day. They are screened for a variety of health issues and are treated accordingly.

Babies admitted into the Special Care Nursery will be admitted under one of Epworth's consultant paediatricians who will oversee their care. Your baby's progress will be reviewed daily by your paediatrician and we have paediatricians on-call after hours and in case of emergencies.

As well as your paediatrician, the nursery has an experienced neonatal nursing and midwifery team, dedicated to ensuring that your baby receives the best care.

Our team prides itself on developing a family centred approach to their care of babies in the nursery and encourage parents to participate in all aspects of their baby's care including feeding, bathing and dressing.

Special Care Nursery visiting hours

Visiting hours for parents are unrestricted. We encourage parents to be present as much as possible as your baby can hear your voice and feel your touch. 

As a general rule, any guests that you would like to meet your baby are welcome. 

To ensure the safety of babies in the nursery, we ask that:

  • Visitors be kept to two people at a time
  • Children under 12 (except for baby's siblings) are not allowed in the nursery
  • Anyone who is unwell with a fever, cough or cold, cold sores, diarrhoea or any other symptoms of illness does not visit the nursery

All visitors in the Special Care Nursery must thoroughly wash their hands before entering to protect our most vulnerable babies.