Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Newborn Care

During Your Stay


Congratulations on the birth of your baby and welcome to RPA Newborn Care!

At first, the neonatal intensive care unit can appear a noisy and daunting place. We will involve you in your baby’s care and help you and your baby get to know one another. The neonatal team is there to provide expert clinical care to your baby and support you through this difficult time. However there are some things that only a parent can provide. It is important that your baby knows that you are there and can hear your voice and feel your touch. 

The Department of Newborn Care team is here to support you and your family during your baby’s hospital stay. You can contact us any time, day or night. Learn more about the Newborn Care staff here.

It is important for you and your baby to spend as much time together as possible and we encourage you to come to the nursery whenever you can. We welcome parents as part of our unit. You will be given a security swipe card which enables 24 hour entry. Due to current health restrictions as a result of COVID-19, only one parent per baby can visit  at any one time. Parents can swap over outside of the unit (in the entrance foyer to the hospital on Level 3).

We also have the availability of NICUcam, web cameras at each cot space so that you and whoever of your family and friends you wish to see your baby may do so at any time by logging in and using a mobile device. More information about this facility will be given to you by your caring team.


Who Can Visit

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and current restrictions in NSW, our visitors’ policy has changed. Whilst we normally welcome and encourage siblings and grandparents to spend time with their new family member, at the present time, only parents / carers can visit a baby in Newborn Care.

Minimising Infection

Everyone entering Newborn Care is required to first wash their hands and forearms thoroughly. You will need to hang your coat on one of the pegs provided and remove your hand jewellery / watch beforehand. It is also important to wash your hands before and after touching your baby each time, using the alcohol hand rub at the bedside. If you feel unwell; have a runny nose, flu, diarrhoea, rash, vomiting, cold sores or any other infectious illness, do not come in to the nursery. If you are unsure about any illness, please discuss this with the nursing looking after your baby or the nurse in charge.

Terms Used in Newborn Care 

Newborn Care can be a challenging environment, not only because of the machines, monitors, noise and people, but also because of the strange terms and language often used by the healthcare team. We've compiled a glossary to help explain these terms. 

 Glossary of Terms

Support During Your Admission 

The Newborn Care team is here to support you and your family during your baby's hospital stay. We have a range of support services here including: 

  • Lactation support 
  • Parent & family support 
  • Physiotherapy 
  • Education services 

Learn more about our services during your stay.


Our multidisciplinary team regularly provide parent education during our parent talks and at your baby's bedside. Some topics we cover in education include: 

  • Feeding
  • Settling 
  • Bathing
  • What to expect when taking your baby home 
  • Parent wellbeing

View our educational resources here. 

Transfer Closer to Home 

If you were transferred or referred to RPA Womens and Babies for delivery because of problems with your pregnancy, your baby will most likely be transferred to a hospital closer to home when they are well enough and no longer requires our highly specialised care. This will make it easier for you and your family to visit and prepare for bringing your baby home. 

Talk to the nurse in charge about arranging a visit to the nursery where your baby will be transferred. Transfer may also depend on bed availability at the receiving hospital. 


Neonatal intensive care practices and treatments have advanced greatly over the past few decades. This is largely due to parents allowing their baby to participate in studies seeking to find better treatments for sick babies. 

The care that you and your baby receive will not in any way be affected by your decision to participate or not participate in any of the unit's research projects. 

If you have any research questions, please ask the nurse caring for your baby who will arrange for you to speak with the appropriate person. Before being implemented, all research projects at RPAH must be scrutinised and passed by the RPAH Human Research and Ethics Committee and you will have given your consent for your baby's participation.