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Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU)


Pregnancy and childbirth are amazing — and can be unpredictable. While most women give birth to healthy babies, it’s not a guarantee. That’s why it’s important to choose a hospital with a neonatal intensive care unit.

PeaceHealth offers 24/7 care and support to newborns and their new parents. Our Level II NICU, also called a special care nursery, treats babies who were born a few weeks early or have minor health problems. *OR* Our Level III NICU treats even the smallest and sickest of  babies. In most cases, we can care for newborns right here, right away.

The NICU team is led by neonatologists (doctors who treat sick or premature babies). It also includes:

  • Neonatal nurses
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Feeding and swallowing therapists
  • Lactation consultants
  • Social workers

Babies in our NICU receive expert care with a gentle touch until they’re able to go home.

Neonatal intensive care at PeaceHealth

Your baby’s health and well-being are important to us.

Pediatric care

If your baby will need extra care after leaving the NICU, you can take comfort knowing we offer pediatric specialty care. Doctors at PeaceHealth can also consult about serious illnesses or injuries with pediatric intensivists at [partner hospital name] through our telemedicine program.

Unimited bonding time

At PeaceHealth, parents may visit the NICU 24-hours a day. Our private rooms give you the space you need to spend quiet, quality time with your baby.

Music therapy

Certain types of music can soothe fussy babies and help with brain and language development. Our music therapist sings and plays instruments for babies in the NICU. Parents say music therapy helps their babies stay calm during invasive tests and to sleep more soundly.

Cuddler program

There may be times when you can’t be in the NICU because of work, family or other personal duties. Your baby is still in caring hands with  our specially trained volunteers to hold, read to or comfort them  when you’re away.

Conditions We Treat

Brain problems (neonatal)

Some premature newborns are at risk for a condition called intraventricular hemorrhage. It means the blood vessels in the brain are weak and may leak blood. Other babies may have brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen during birth.

Eye problems (neonatal)

Babies born too soon have a higher chance of eye problems, especially a condition called retinopathy of prematurity. Without treatment, it can cause partial or total vision loss.

Gastrointestinal issues (neonatal)

Premature babies, sometimes called preemies, may have problems with their liver, esophagus, intestines or stomach. Conditions we treat include jaundice, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and necrotizing enterocolitis.

Heart or vascular problems (neonatal)

Some babies are born before their heart or cardiac blood vessels are fully formed. This may cause abnormal blood flow, leaky valves or holes in the heart walls. Conditions include atrial septal defect, patent ductus arteriosus and pulmonary valve stenosis.

Lung problems (neonatal)

Premature babies may breathe too slowly or too quickly, or their lungs may not fill all the way. Conditions include apnea of prematurity and respiratory distress syndrome. We also treat bronchopulmonary dysplasia, which may occur among babies who use a ventilator (breathing machine) for a long time.
 

Neonatal abstinence syndrome

Women who use drugs or alcohol during pregnancy give birth to babies who are addicted. These babies often have neonatal abstinence syndrome (drug withdrawal). Symptoms include tremors, high-pitched or nonstop crying, vomiting, diarrhea or sleep problems.

Orthopedic problems (neonatal)

Some babies are born with problems in their bones or joints. These include clubfoot, hip dysplasia and spina bifida.

Treatments Provided

Breastfeeding support

It's not easy to breastfeed a tiny or sick baby, but our lactation consultants can help. We teach you about positioning, latching, pumping and storage, and offer support as you manage feeding amounts and schedules.

Follow-up care (neonatal)

Our support doesn’t end when your baby leaves the NICU. We can help you find a pediatrician or other specialists who will help you manage your baby’s health. And we can connect you with resources such as breastfeeding assistance, financial counseling, parenting classes or support groups. 

Kangaroo care (skin-to-skin contact)

We encourage parents to hold their infant skin-to-skin for as long as their doctor recommends. Research shows that skin-to-skin contact helps make a baby’s heart rate, temperature and breathing more stable.

Neonatal surgery

Neonatal surgeons treat newborns who need surgery for certain health conditions or birth defects. After surgery, babies are watched closely in the NICU by our neonatal team members.

Nutrition counseling

Diet and nutrition play an important role in helping you feel your best. Nutritionists will work closely with you to form an effective eating plan.

Rehabilitation (neonatal)

Rehabilitation specialists in the NICU watch how your baby develops. Physical and occupational therapists make sure babies gain muscle strength and avoid positional deformities (like a flat spot on the back of the head). Speech therapists help you and your baby with sucking, feeding or swallowing issues.

Social work (neonatal)

Having a baby in the NICU can be stressful and overwhelming. Social workers help parents and siblings cope and find support. We screen moms for postpartum depression, refer families to community resources and help parents plan for their baby’s move home.

Transport service (NICU)

Newborns are often sent to PeaceHealth for advanced NICU care. Our neonatal ambulance can carry two babies and four caregivers at a time, 24-hours a day. Special equipment on board lets us treat even the smallest and sickest babies during transport.

Find a Location

PeaceHealth offers Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU) in these cities:

All Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU) Locations

400 NE Mother Joseph Pl.
Vancouver, WA 98664