Christchurch Women's Hospital is trying to reassure parents it is in control of an outbreak of a drug-resistant superbug that has infected four babies.
But families of newborns remain anxious.
The outbreak of the methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in the new $80 million hospital's neonatal unit has forced doctors to isolate all new admissions, and all babies and staff in the unit have been screened for the bug.
A different strain killed three babies in Wellington Hospital this year. But doctors say there are effective treatments available for the strain discovered at Christchurch Women's Hospital.
None of the four infected babies suffered any serious ill-effects, and all have now been discharged.
"We know it is a difficult and stressful time for parents having a baby in the unit, but we want to assure them that we are well prepared to handle this problem," said the chief medical officer of the Canterbury District Health Board, Dr Nigel Millar.
Corey Bennett was angry that his daughter, Lukah Jane, born to partner Felicity on Saturday, had to undergo testing for MRSA before being allowed into the hospital, yet at the same time he was not told of the outbreak.
Lukah was born five weeks premature in Southland Hospital.
"You think they would let us know," Mr Bennett said. "Lukah seems pretty good. We haven't got the test results back yet. It makes you a bit anxious. The nurses say it is going to be all right, but they are probably told to say that anyway."
Richard Giddings and wife Jacqui had twins born eight weeks premature at the hospital on Tuesday. The twins, Chelsea and Anna, remain in the neonatal unit under 24-hour care.
"It is definitely a concern when you first hear about [the outbreak] because you are not expecting that," Mr Giddings said. "They are doing fantastically well and getting huge improvements every day."
He and his wife felt much better after being briefed by the hospital staff.
Dr Millar said the most important thing now was for the hospital to try to prevent any further cross-contamination that could prove more dangerous.
WHAT IS MRSA?
* The bug is common in neonatal units and a third of all people carry the organism, usually in their noses.
* It is easily spread by contact and anybody can have the bacteria without showing symptoms.
* It can be resistant to common antibiotics.
* The strain found in Christchurch is not the same one that killed three babies in Wellington Hospital this year.