The end goal for every pregnancy involves delivering a healthy baby at full term to a healthy mother, as there is no better environment for babies to grow and develop other than in-utero. Unfortunately, many women enter pregnancy with pre-existing medical conditions that predispose them to complications, which could compromise their baby’s health. Even the healthiest of women could face a preterm delivery.
Similarly, preterm delivery is also a frightening reality for healthy mothers of babies with high-risk conditions including congenital heart disease, congenital diaphragmatic hernia or extreme prematurity. This is one of the reasons why we opened Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, to bring expecting mothers with high-risk conditions to deliver right where they and their babies can get the highest level of care. This minimizes separation, promotes breastfeeding, allows mothers to be with their babies as soon as they’re medically cleared, and encourages fathers and other family members to visit and support both mom and the baby more easily.
It’s difficult to predict labor and the timing of pregnancy complications. What if a high-risk mother goes into labor, or if she has a complication and can’t make it directly to Texas Children’s, which happens to be in one of the largest cities in the country? In response to this growing need, Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women teamed with the Kangaroo Crew to offer specialized maternal transport to women in our community.
Our Kangaroo Crew’s maternal transport team is comprised of a labor and delivery nurse, neonatal nurse, respiratory therapist and emergency medical technician. Their combined expertise elevates the level of care provided during transport while managing the needs of pregnant patients. This team is able to communicate directly with the receiving maternal-fetal medicine specialist during every phase of transport to ensure seamless transfer of care for the mother and her baby. Meanwhile, our receiving care team can develop an action plan, even before our patient arrives.
Since our first maternal transport in November 2017, many of the women we’ve transported have gone on to deliver at the Pavilion for Women, and each had a receiving neonatologist immediately available. Texas Children’s is expanding this unique service to the greater Houston community and beyond to ensure patients get the right care at the right place at the right time.