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Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Plans can change very quickly when it comes to a newborn, and some babies require more intense care. Our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit specializes in caring for premature and  fragile babies. The NICU cares for children from all hospitals and is ready to give the compassionate care your child needs for however long is necessary. Some are born at Sacred Heart. Some are brought from other hospitals. Some stay for just a few hours before rejoining their mother. Others may need complex care lasting several days or weeks.

Family-Centered Care

Your baby or babies will be cared for in one of our 36 private rooms. Private rooms help families bond with their baby. They also help our staff give your baby the best care. You are encouraged to spend as much time with your baby as you like. The NICU is open to parents 24 hours a day. Our goal is to quickly and safely return healthy babies to their families. We support families and teach them how to care for their infant.

Breastfeeding your baby can help him or her grow and stay healthy. Our lactation consultants help mothers overcome the special problems of breastfeeding a premature or ill baby. They also manage infants’ feeding plans. Our lactation program has given Sacred Heart one of the highest breastfeeding rates in the nation for discharged NICU infants.

Our Care Team

Every member of our care team has advanced training and experience in the care of premature or medically fragile newborns. They include:

  • Neonatologists (doctors who specialize in caring for newborn babies)
  • NICU Care Team, including nursing staff, respiratory therapists, lactation consultants, social workers, occupational or speech therapists, spiritual care and transport team.

Immediate Care

Our care begins at birth or as soon after birth as possible.

  • Babies born at Sacred Heart: Members of the NICU Delivery Support Team attend all high-risk and caesarean births.
  • Babies born at other hospitals: A Transport Team is on call 24 hours a day to pick up and safely transport newborns to Sacred Heart’s NICU from other hospitals in western and southwestern Oregon. Babies are transported in a special Neonatal Mobile Intensive Care Unit ambulance. 

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