the NICU staff

Nurses Reflect on and Honor World Prematurity Day

Nov 17 2022

Pregnancy is a very exciting time in a person’s life, and at Bon Secours we want to make sure this special time is as comfortable and safe as possible for both you and your baby.

Neonatology focuses on the medical and surgical needs of newborn babies. Our neonatologists are pediatricians who’ve completed advanced training in the care of very sick or premature babies. They often consult on high-risk prenatal care before a baby is born, as well as during and after delivery.

Neonatologists also lead our neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) teams. This team provides compassionate, state-of-the-art treatment for premature infants, infections, birth injuries and birth defects. Together, with a highly skilled and dedicated team of other physicians, neonatal nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists and additional professionals, our neonatologists provide the most advanced medical care to your baby 24 hours a day in our state-of-the-art NICUs.

Nov. 17 is March of Dimes’ World Prematurity Day, a day for raising awareness that 10 percent of babies born in the U.S. are premature and at risk for life-long complications. This special day also reminds us of babies born too early and the health challenges they can face as they grow up.

Bon Secours has four neonatal intensive care units throughout the Richmond area. These units offer specialized care for premature newborns. The nurses and providers who work in these units are exceptional, just like their little patients.

This year, these team members want to share their perspective on what World Prematurity Day means to them.

“The NICU at Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital has been my work home for the last almost 20 years and I wouldn’t work anywhere else,” Suzie Lawmaster says. “The most gratifying part of the job is seeing the tiniest of our babies go home.”

Kelley Mace adds that being in the NICU can be an unfathomable situation for expecting parents.

“What I love most about my job is helping families at one of the most difficult times in their lives,” she shares. “They envision something so different when they find out they are expecting, and their dreams are changed in an instant that they have no control over. We are not on anyone’s birth plan.”

And lastly, Dawn Blommel emphasizes that NICU providers love working with families.

“We don’t just care for the infants, we take care of the families, too,” Dawn says. “Our NICU has so many years of experience. We work together as a team. Our sole purpose is to give these sweet little babies the best outcomes possible. We do this through our vast experience and our evidence-based practice. We work as a team with our providers and all of our ancillary staff.”

Learn more about our neonatology services at Bon Secours.

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