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Specialized Neonatal Programs

two nurses working with a baby
For the fifth year in a row, Neonatology has been ranked #1 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and we are the only top 10 neonatology program/neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region.

Unique Neonatal Care in the Region

Our expert team of doctors, nurses and support staff offer several programs and treatments that are unique to this region. We are an academic medical center, which means our doctors provide care and lead important research that advances the treatment of sick newborns and premature infants.

Our care is multidisciplinary, meaning that different experts work in teams to create care tailored for your baby’s needs. Your baby will experience the expert focus of specialists from more than 40 pediatric subspecialties, as needed. Our teams also include specialized neonatal nurses, pharmacists, social workers and others experienced in the care of these little ones. 

Meet the Team

Depending on the care your baby may need, our specialized programs include:

  • Breathing therapy: Many critically ill infants need help breathing and maintaining a healthy level of oxygen in their blood. ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) acts as a set of heart and lungs for your baby. 
    The latest state-of-the-art breathing equipment including conventional ventilators, high frequency ventilators, and others area available along with a team of specialize respiratory therapies who work with our neonatology team.  For infants who are near-term and not responding to the therapy from these breathing machines, Children’s National has one of the largest ECMO programs for these infants, providing an artificial heart-lung machine for these infants. Learn more about Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Program.
  • Protection for the growing brain: Dedicated neonatal neurologists lead this program focused on babies with neurologic concerns. It is the only program like it in the region and one of only a dozen in the entire country. 
  • Neonatal Pharmaceutical Monitoring Program: Two full-time pharmacists specializing in premature infants work closely with attending physicians to monitor and administer correct medicines and appropriate dosages.

Feeding and Nutrition:

  • Nutrition and feeding: Our neonatal nutrition experts work closely with the NICU medical team to evaluate your baby’s growth and nutrition. Part of a team of specialists, our neonatal dietitians assess each infant’s condition, growth and nutritional needs and then advise parents on the most appropriate way to feed their babies. Learn more about the Neonatal Nutrition Program.
  • Post-NICU child development: This follow-up clinic, headed by Penny Glass, PhD, evaluates NICU graduates in an outpatient setting to ensure they are developing appropriately and to provide continuity of care. The team includes psychologists who specialize in babies and toddlers who were premature or ill. Learn more about the Child Development Program.