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 …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 …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 …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 …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 …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 …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 …Continue reading →

Advancements bring new hope and better outcomes for NICU babies

Who would have known that the little girl who would rather play “doll hospital” than “house” would someday work in the #1 NICU in the country? Who would have known that the preteen girl obsessed with “Cherry Ames” nurse series of books would eventually work in the #1 NICU in the country? Who would have known that the NICU nurse would become …Continue reading →

Like you, we believe kids deserve the best

Like all moms, I wanted only the best for my girls as they were growing up. Throughout my career as a health care provider, I tested the quality of my work by asking: would this be good enough for my kids? At Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, we’ve never settled for anything less than the best for kids — and we never will. I consider it an honor to work for …Continue reading →

Advance practice nurses play important role for infants and families

Newborn Progressive Care Unit

Once an infant is stable, they may be transferred from our NICU to our NPCU.

The Neonatology Program at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin has seen many changes in the past several years. One notable change is the increase in the number of neonatal nurse practitioners now participating in patient care in both the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Newborn Progressive Care Unit.

A neonatal nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who has an advanced degree and special training in the care of …Continue reading →