At Children's National's Division of Neonatology, tiny babies with the most complex conditions receive expert, compassionate care from our neonatologists (doctors who care for premature and/or ill infants). Together with other pediatric specialists and surgeons, our team treats your baby with the best that modern medicine offers: advanced treatments, complex surgical procedures, and supportive care. Most importantly, we work closely with you and your family to make sure you understand and participate in all decisions made about your baby’s health.
Neonatology (Newborn) Care at Children's National: Why Choose Us?
Every day, doctors from across the region trust us to care for their tiniest and sickest patients. In fact, 40 hospitals across Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia confidently refer babies to Children’s National. Our team has the experience and expertise to treat premature and/or ill infants with care recognized as the third-ranked neonatology program in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
The thing I like most about Children's National is that they don't just take great care of the sick children, but they also take great care of the whole family.
About our NICU
Our neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is a Level IV NICU, which means we can offer the highest level of care for premature infants. As one of the region’s few Level IV NICUs, we care for more than 800 tiny patients each year, providing appropriate and personalized care for each baby.
Our neonatologists are on-site to care for your infant, 24/7. No matter what treatment your child needs, we provide experts from more than 40 other pediatric subspecialties. Our team is available around the clock, prepared to evaluate and care for your baby. Our specialized programs include:
- ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation), an advanced breathing therapy
- Nutrition and feeding, including a donor milk program
- Programs designed to protect your baby’s growing brain
See more of our specialized programs
Family Matters in our NICU
In addition to providing your newborn with the best care, we also focus on the comfort of the entire family. Our NICU features:
- Large private patient rooms with comfortable rockers. Our staff will teach you to hold and rock your baby safely and comfortably when it is appropriate and safe for your newborn.
- Breastfeeding support, including lactation consultants and a Donor Milk Program
- Parent-transition rooms, so when you’re ready to bring home your baby, you can “practice” the night before in a hotel-like room just steps from the NICU
Learn more about our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
Innovative Care Unmatched Anywhere in the Region
As we care for your newborn, we’re also thinking about what’s best for the future child and adult. Our specialized care includes programs that:
- Special monitoring for brain function and brain oxygen designed for newborn infants
- Deliver pioneering cardiac and respiratory treatment, like ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation)
- Provide nutrition and feeding therapies
- Evaluate babies and toddlers who are NICU “graduates” for appropriate developmental milestones
- Ensure every baby can have human milk, through our Donor Milk Program
Learn more about our Specialized Programs
Some babies do not need the advanced treatments that we offer at our main hospital NICU. However, they still need the care that our expert specialists provide.
Our neonatology team provides care for premature and/or ill infants in our region through partnerships with several community hospitals in Virginia and Maryland.
These partnerships bring the same high-quality care offered at the Children’s National NICU to other areas of the DC, Maryland, and Virginia regions.
Learn more about our regional NICUs
While the focus is on your baby, your whole family needs care and support during this challenging time. Our team considers the family a core part of the care team. Parents are encouraged to participate in daily rounds with our physicians, nurses and other caregivers.
We offer several programs and services just for families, including:
- Family support specialists who works with family members, providing support to the whole family during their NICU experience
- NICU-specific social workers for each clinical team who can provide emotional support and assist with coordination of care
- NICU-specific case managers are assigned to each clinical team, providing assistance with insurance issues and organizing discharge planning.
- Lactation specialists are available for assisting mother with breast feeding and to address questions about our donor breast milk program
- Special parent transition rooms, so you can spend a night with your baby in a hotel-like room to “practice” being at home with your baby, while still only steps away from the NICU
- Child Life Specialists, who can help support siblings with a new brother or sister in the NICU
Learn more about Resources for Families