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What we do

Wellington Regional Hospital has a Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) that provides intensive and specialist care for babies across the central region (from Blenheim and Nelson to Hastings, Wanganui, Palmerston North and Masterton).

Babies in NICU range from those born after 23 weeks through to sick term infants, and any babies requiring surgery.

We also care for babies with birth abnormalities, some of whom need surgery and care from other specialties including genetics and metabolic services

If your baby is in NICU

We understand that having a baby in NICU is a difficult time for you and your family.  There is open visiting for parents only. Other visiting times are as per the brochure provided.

You will be updated regularly on the progress of your baby by nursing and medical staff. You are welcome to be present for daily ward rounds but please respect the privacy of others in your room and leave the room or wear ear muffs [provided] when other babies are being discussed.

Please stay at your baby’s bedside and do not view other babies.

While you are in hospital, you will be referred to a Social Worker. If you are from outside Wellington they can help you find accommodation at Ronald McDonald house (opposite the hospital). Read more about staying at Ronald McDonald House 

If you normally live outside the Wellington region, the High Risk Midwifery Team will provide your midwifery care. One of the midwives from the High Risk Midwifery Team should be in contact with you the day after discharge.

Our team

Our team work closely together to give your baby the best care. During the time your baby is in NICU you may meet:

  • Neonatal nurses- give the day to day care to your baby.
  • Clinical nurse specialists – give advice and support for long term and complex babies.
  • Lactation consultants – support for breast feeding .
  • Neonatal consultants – your baby is admitted under a Consultant. Each week the duty Consultant will change but your admitting Consultant is responsible for your baby.
  • Neonatal nurse practitioners – Part of the Medical Team providing day to day care for your baby.
  • Community Discharge Team – Work with you in hospital and support complex babies following discharge.
  • Paediatric surgeons – There are several Paediatric Surgeons who are consulted if needed.
  • The NICU transport team – who bring babies to Wellington Hospital from other hospitals in the central region and manage transferring babies to other hospitals in New Zealand
  • The Allied Health Team are part of the NICU Team. The Team includes Speech Language Therapist, Neuro Developmental Therapist, Physiotherapist and Dietician.

Contact Us

You will be given the direct phone number to your baby’s room. 

Useful resources

Non-Nutritive Sucking for Babies on NICU 

Expressing for Premature Babies

Disinfection of Expressing Equipment 

Domperidone use for increasing milk supply - Patient Information

Supplementary feeding for breastfeeding mothers 

Car Seat Safety for NICU Babies

CPAP Information for Parents/Caregivers

Optiflow Information for Parents/Caregivers 

Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH)

Hand Hygiene in NICU 

Ultrasound in NICU 

Hirschsprung's Disease 

Information for managing supplementary home oxygen 

Hypoglycaemia and Thermoregulation in NICU 

Hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy (HIE)

Inguinal Hernia

Kangaroo Care

Kangaroo Care - sitting and standing transfer

Longlines in NICU

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Scan 

Mothers with Babies in NICU staying in NICU or Ronald McDonald House

Welcome to the Children's Hospital - Wards 1 and 2

Necrotising Enterocolitis (NEC)

Neonatal Bowel Obstruction 

Neonatal Jaundice & Phototherapy 

NICU Babies Returning to Base Hospital - Parent Information

Parenting your preterm baby 23 - 26 weeks gestation 

Parenting your preterm baby 26-29 weeks 

Parenting your preterm baby 29-32 weeks

Parenting your preterm baby 32-36 weeks

Parenting your preterm baby 36-40 weeks

Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)

Pneumothorax - NICU Parent Information


Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS) and Transient Tachypnoea of the Newborn (TTN)

Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) - Parent /Caregiver Information 

Spina Bifida - NICU parent information

Sucrose for Neonatal Pain Management

Transferring your baby to Wellington Hospital NICU 

X-rays in NICU

Meconium Aspiration 



Last updated 10 May 2022.