Edward Hospital’s NICU reached a multiple milestone
When Sarah Esche-Lange gave birth to twins Madison Josephine (5 lbs., 5 oz.) and Dylan Jeremiah (5 lbs., 2 oz.) it wasn’t only Sarah and her husband Erik who celebrated. The birth marked the 2,000th set of multiples successfully born at Edward Hospital since 1996.
The success rate is in no small part due to the excellence of the Naperville hospital’s newborn intensive care unit (NICU), which is designated by the state as a level 3 facility, capable of caring for very small or very sick newborn babies at the highest level.
Dr. Robert Covert, medical director of NICU and Edward Hospital and DuPage Neonatology Associates’ neonatologist, says women carrying multiple babies are more likely to have problematic pregnancies and deliver preterm; these babies can face myriad problems due to underdevelopment.
“We have become a magnet for those patients,” he says. “Our level 3 facility means we have … assets from perinatologists, neonatologists, and other ancillary staff, like NICU nurses.”
Since 2008 Edward has seen a decrease in the number of quadruplets and quintuplets as fertility experts refine their skills. “Giving birth to quintuplets prematurely is not the goal,” Covert says. “It’s better to have fewer children born healthy.”
Edward Hospital works closely with DuPage Doubles, a support group for parents of multiple births. Past club president Heather McNeice will always be grateful to the hospital.
“I had a very traumatic, emergency birth experience, from my first phone call to the labor and delivery triage desk … my emergency C-section, and NICU stay for my twin boys,” she says. “I can’t express how grateful I am to the Edward staff for what a great job they did handling my unique birth experience and significantly premature babies with incredible skill, professionalism, compassion, and confidence.”
Since 1996, Edward Hospital has delivered 1,931 sets of twins, 64 sets of triplets, four sets of quadruplets, and one set of quintuplets. The 2,000th set of multiples was calculated from the time the partnership between Edward Hospital and DuPage Neonatology Associates began. Fifty-four sets of twins and one set of triplets were born this year at Edward Hospital.
Nationally, five out of every 1,000 live births are twins, and five out of every 100,000 live births are triplets, according to data on the Multiples of America website. The national organization supports families of multiple birth children through education and research. The most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures are for the year 2015:
Number of live births 3,978,497
Total number of multiple births 139,862
Twin births 133,155
Triplet births 4,123
Quadruplet births 228
Quintuplets and higher 24