Mason’s NICU story: The importance of choosing the right NICU

Mason's NICU story: The importance of choosing the right NICU

Despite his tiny size and the all the obstacles he faced, Mason was one feisty baby.

When I learned that my son, Mason, was going to need to be delivered two months early, there was a lot of uncertainty. How would the delivery go? Would he be healthy? What was life going to be like for him? But one thing I was absolutely certain of is where I wanted him to …Click here to continue reading

Watch the first baby move into our new, redesigned NICU

Today was moving day for our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)!

Our NICU babies (including baby John, who is featured in the above video) have begun the move into our new space. In addition to a higher bed count (increasing from 59 to 70), the new NICU has private rooms for all patients and provides special accommodations for …Click here to continue reading

Advice for new moms: Having a baby changes everything

Advice for new moms: Having a baby changes everythingCongratulations! You just had a baby! Simply put, your life will never be the same. I don’t think you can fully explain, or even really understand, what it is like to be a new mom until it happens to you. Having a baby is a game changer.

The best new-baby card I ever got simply said, “And now … you know.” I didn’t know that I …Click here to continue reading

Delivering a preemie: The story behind our Time magazine story

Melissa, Kyle and baby David

Melissa, Kyle and baby David

Our son David was born three months before his due date because I had a condition known as placenta previa. I went into pre-term labor and with every contraction, David’s heart rate dropped, creating a potentially deadly situation for him. After three days and two nights of this, he was born at 5:30 p.m. on January 28, weighing only 2 pounds, 11 ounces and measuring 15 ¼ inches long.

The scariest aspect of David’s early arrival was the fact that we were marching into the unknown, as David’s dad, Kyle, put it. We didn’t know if he would live or not, whether he would be healthy or have a lot of problems, how long he would have …Click here to continue reading

Family Support Program makes NICU at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin second to none

Finn's NICU storyHere at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, it isn’t just the medical expertise that has made us the  #1 ranked hospital in the nation in caring for premature babies. It’s also our commitment to supporting the family and guiding them through what can be such a trying …Click here to continue reading

4 tips to help your baby sleep well

4 tips to help your baby sleep well

It’s important to establish a safe sleep environment for your baby.

As a sleep specialist at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, I’ve dedicated my career to helping kids get the sleep they need to reach their full potential. One of the most difficult times to get enough sleep is after you bring a new baby home.

Sleep is important at every age, but it’s especially important for a baby who is growing and developing at a rate faster …Click here to continue reading

Why I created Team Joey and participate in Briggs & Al’s Run & Walk

Joey spent 74 days at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Joey is now 20 months old.

On Dec. 13, 2011, my son Joseph “Joey” Raymond Esselmann was unexpectedly born at 26 weeks gestational age. He weighed 1 pound, 15 ¾ ounces and was 13 inches long.

The doctors were unsure if Joey would survive, and if he did, whether he would have long-term complications. He spent …Click here to continue reading

New mothers need support to succeed at breastfeeding

New mothers need support to succeed at breastfeeding

New mothers should know it’s OK to ask for help from others.

This year, World Breastfeeding Awareness Week focused on the support a woman needs to succeed at breastfeeding or pumping breast milk.

We all want our children to have the best start in life. We know through research and experience that breast milk is the very best nutrition for newborns. So, a new mother may feel bad if she doesn’t immediately succeed with breastfeeding. But most women who breastfeed struggle and need help from someone.

Most babies don’t know what to do when …Click here to continue reading

Routine to lifesaving care: Why three brothers depend on Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Routine to lifesaving care: Why three brothers depend on Children's Hospital of Wisconsin

Noah, Eli and Abe are as close as brothers can be.

I’ve been a pediatrician for nearly 30 years. I decided I wanted to be a pediatrician when I was in high school and never wavered from my goal. I love what I do because it’s both rewarding and challenging.

It’s rewarding because I know I’m helping kids stay healthy. During three decades, I’ve watched a lot of my patients grow up into healthy adults. Now I have the privilege of treating many of my former patients’ children. It’s a lot of fun and it’s humbling …Click here to continue reading

How the Transport Team at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin gave us our baby back

Amelia inhaled meconium in the womb, which resulted in serious lung problems.

Amelia spent 18 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Months of preparation, reading, classes and research couldn’t have prepared these two first-time parents for what we were about to endure. Minutes after our daughter, Amelia, was born, we were informed of her fragile state and that Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin was en route in the sky.

Amelia inhaled meconium in the womb, which resulted in serious lung problems. Our hometown hospital was doing as much as they could, but wasn’t able to give Amelia the care she needed. When the Transport Team from Children’s Hospital arrived, we were confused, exhausted and terrified — and they could tell.

Each of them took the time to consult with my husband and I, walking us through all the steps …Click here to continue reading