Why Choose the NICU at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin?
While there are other hospitals in the region with Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Units, the Children's Hospital NICU stands apart.
Children's Hospital is recognized for:
- Having the most advanced NICU in Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Serving as a referral center for other NICUs in the region, the NICU at Children's Hospital can care for the sickest newborns.
- Leading the region in the treatment of pulmonary hypertension.
- Focusing on clinical research, ensuring that pregnant women and their newborn infants have access to the most current capabilities.
- Providing neonatology education.
- Leading the way in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions before and after a baby's birth. Services begin early in pregnancy through the Fetal Concerns Center of Wisconsin.
- Performing surgery on infants before delivery.
Children's Hospital provides the highest level of care to patients and their families. NICU features include:
- Private newborn bed spaces.
- Bed spaces specially designed to care for infants from admission to discharge.
- Special pods for twins and triplets to allow families to stay together during care.
- Ability to perform certain procedures at the patient's bedside.
- Rooms that allow parents to practice caring for their baby before he or she goes home.
- Family computer and kitchen area.
- Breast pumping rooms for privacy.
- Specialized freezers for breast milk storage.
- In-unit pharmacy with staff that is specially trained in the unique needs of NICU babies.
Specialized surgical services available
Children's Hospital has strong pediatric surgical outcomes. In particular, outcomes for diaphragmatic hernias, heart defects and neurological, urological and renal disorders are consistently at or above national standards. The NICU is connected to the surgery suites to ensure fast and easy transport.
Mothers and babies can stay under same roof
The Froedtert & The Medical College Birth Center is located inside Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. The Birth Center has immediate access to the state-of-the-art Children's Hospital NICU and to a full range of pediatric medical care. The advanced capabilities of both hospitals mean transfers to other facilities are not needed. The mother and baby can stay in the same building during the first days of the infant's life.
Developmental-focused approach to care
Our staff understands that even the very sickest babies need to learn certain skills to develop normally. Because many babies are kept still, they do not learn how to grab and hold or how to position their heads for feeding. It even can frighten them to move because they haven't yet learned to orient themselves in a three-dimensional world. Nurses and therapists work with infants and their families to teach them these important interactions.
Lactation consultants help make sure mothers and babies get off to a good start and help overcome feeding challenges, even when infants have diagnoses that can make breastfeeding difficult.
Family Accommodations services
Families often come to Children's Hospital from outside the Milwaukee area. Having a baby in a hospital far from home can complicate an already stressful experience. The Family Accommodations Program helps out-of-town families make travel plans to Milwaukee, including lodging at the nearby Ronald McDonald House, when available.
Private sleeping rooms also are available in the hospital near the NICU. These rooms allow parents to stay near their critically ill children throughout the night. Because space is limited, the rooms are granted to families one night at a time. The staff helps determine availability each night based on which families have the greatest need.
Family Support Program
Children's Hospital is the only NICU in the state that partners with the March of Dimes to provide the Family Support Program. This program provides information and comfort to families of premature babies and other critically ill newborns. It addresses the needs of NICU patients' families throughout the baby's hospital stay, after the baby goes home and in the event of a baby's death.
Qualified transport team
Babies often are brought to the Children's Hospital NICU by the transport team. Two teams of transport nurses, neonatal nurse practitioners, neonatologists, pediatricians, transport clinicians and respiratory therapists are ready 24 hours a day to provide neonatal transport to Children's Hospital from referring facilities. Children's Transport stabilizes critically ill children at other hospitals and transports them to Children's Hospital by helicopter, fixed wing plane or ambulance.
The highly experienced team manages intensive care during transports. Nurses who attend transports have expanded skills and training that allows them to care for critically ill infants from the time of delivery until arrival at the hospital. They are experts in neonatal resuscitation, stabilization and transport.
Support for families after discharge
Children's Hospital recognizes that the families of infants who were born premature or sick may need support after going home. Families can benefit from a Surgery Follow-up Clinic and car seat program after the baby goes home.
A team of professionals offers high-quality end-of-life care to any child with life-threatening illness. Staff in the Jane B. Pettit Pain and Palliative Care Center are dedicated to helping children and families face the greatest challenge of their lives. Ethics advice and spiritual care services also are available. The Fetal Concerns Center of Wisconsin is a world leader in end-of-life care practices and can help families create a care plan before the baby is born.
The specialists in the Children's Hospital NICU conduct research to provide the most up-to-date care and improve outcomes.