Why choose Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in the Fox Valley?
Our 22-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit serves critically ill infants from throughout the Fox Valley area. Our unit is part of a Level III Regional Perinatal Center, providing care for premature and full-term babies up to 9 months old who require critical care.
Patient and family experience
Our NICU consistently exceeds patient and family experience goals. A very high percentage of patient families give our NICU services an "excellent" or "very good" rating and would recommend our NICU services.
State-of-the-art facility and equipment
Children's Hospital is committed to providing state-of-the-art equipment and the latest technology in neonatal care. The unit has ample space to provide babies with the individualized support they need to thrive and grow. One example of Children's Hospital's state-of-the-art equipment is the Giraffe OmniBed™, which combines the features of an incubator and a radiant warmer. Like a traditional incubator, the baby can be reached through portholes or doors. When the canopy is raised, it allows for greater access to the baby; even allowing for a surgical procedure if necessary. The special bed also helps keep the baby's body temperature consistent and provides the right amount of humidity to help keep the baby's delicate skin from becoming too dry.
Highly experienced staff
A team of four neonatologists cares for babies in the unit. At least one of these physicians is available 24 hours per day, seven days a week. About half of our NICU nurses have more than 15 years' experience caring for premature and medically fragile infants. Our staff shares their expertise by providing clinical education to health care providers at other hospitals and attending high-risk deliveries at Theda Clark Medical Center.
Perinatal heart services
We offer assessment and diagnosis of heart conditions before birth.
Connections to the best resources
In addition, our NICU staff has strong relationships with pediatric specialists in the Fox Valley. They also are your connection to world-renowned services at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.
Emergency transport services
Babies often are brought to the NICU by our transport service, which partners with ThedaStar Air Medical helicopter and Gold Cross ambulance. The transport service is available throughout Northeast Wisconsin, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our highly experienced transport team cares for infants during transports. Our transport nurses and respiratory care personnel have expanded skills and training that allow them to care for critically ill infants from the time of the baby's delivery until arrival at the hospital.
Our staff partners with families through open, ongoing communication. They listen carefully to families, and parents are actively involved in planning their infants' care.
Our team includes certified lactation consultants. These consultants can help mothers overcome challenges to breastfeeding and provide breast milk to their babies, even when the baby's medical condition makes breastfeeding difficult. Our breastfeeding team sponsors weekly Moms and Milk Club meetings for mothers who are breastfeeding. We also provide pumps and private rooms for expressing breast milk. Our pump technology is specially designed for the mothers of premature infants.
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.
Pain can have a significant impact on outcomes. That is why our staff has made pain management a top priority. The staff assesses each infant's pain level on a regular basis and offers appropriate comfort. Current research is used to provide the most effective pain relief possible.
Our entire team works to help families prepare to take their baby home, resulting in earlier discharges than most hospitals. From the first day, parents are encouraged to help care for their baby to build confidence. Parents are encouraged to stay for extended periods of time in one of our special family rooms to learn how to care for their baby with the comfort of knowing our expert staff is right there to support them.
Physical therapy follow-up
Infants who meet specific criteria are scheduled after discharge with a pediatric physical therapist to help ensure they continue to thrive after they have gone home.
Hospice and end-of-life care
Even when everything medically possible has been done, some situations require difficult decisions. In these rare cases, such as when the decision is made to withdraw life-sustaining care, our staff provides comfort and support to the infant and family. They make sure these families are able to hold their children and say goodbye in a meaningful way. During this time of grief, our staff can help parents get additional support for themselves or other family members.