MedStar Gerogetown University Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is the premiere destination for sick and/or premature infants in the region. Our team of expert physicians and experienced nurses treat the most critically ill babies with compassion and advanced treatments and services.
From Prenatal Care to Follow-up Support
We are experienced at treating babies who are born ill due to prematurity or as the result of a high-risk pregnancy. Babies delivered at MedStar have immediate access to our NICU team. We also safely transfer babies born elsewhere who need urgent care. During your family's NICU stay, use our support services, especially designed for our parents. Also, as our NICU patients "graduate," we offer transitional services for continuing care and therapies that complement the ongoing care provided by your pediatrician.
Supportive Care in a Nurturing Environment
Most parents ask the same initial question: can I hold my baby? Generally, MedStar's NICU is "high-touch" - encouraging holding, touching and stroking your infant. "Kangaroo care," where babies and care providers are skin-to-skin, is used to stabilize vitals, promote recovery, encourage bonding and stimulate breast milk production in moms.
We strongly encourage moms to breastfeed; so much so that the D.C. Breastfeeding Coalition recognized our Lactation Center. However, if your baby is undergoing treatments or feeling unwell, holding him or her may have to wait. Learn more about our breastfeeding and lactation programs.
Pediatric NICU Conditions
At the MedStar Gerogetown University Hospital NICU, we specialize in taking care of high-risk pregnancies and babies that will need a high-level of care immediately after birth. Our team of expert obstetricians and perinatologists and neonatologists has the knowledge and compassion you need to support you throughout your NICU experience.
If your pregnancy is high-risk, it is vital to choose a hospital with a NICU equipped to treat the most complicated, smallest, most fragile and sickest babies. MedStar Georgetown's NICU offers both immediate treatment for critically ill infants and ongoing transitional services for our patients as they grow.
Who Needs NICU Care?
Fetal conditions that may require a stay in the NICU can sometimes be diagnosed during pregnancy (usually by ultrasound). Typically, they are physical conditions that will need care immediately after birth. In some cases, they may result in a premature delivery. They include:
- Multiples (twins or higher-order multiples)
- Heart problems
- Spina bifida
- Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR)
- Bowel problems (such as cysts)
- Genetic conditions
Learn more about high risk pregnancy services at MedStar Georgetown.
Pediatric NICU Treatments and Services
Our NICU offers babies personalized care that can include such services as:
- Prenatal consultations
- Neonatologists who are on-call 24 hours a day
- Step-by-step planning for all critically ill infants
- A neonatal transport service, which acts as a mobile NICU to bring babies from other hospitals in the region via land or air, available 24 hours a day
- Support services for NICU parents
- Transition services for continued medical and therapeutic care outside the NICU
Specialized Treatments for Premature and Ill Babies
Our compassionate and experienced physicians, nurses, therapists and support staff use advanced technology to help care for sick babies. We use proven high-tech equipment that includes:
- High-frequency ventilation for babies with severe respiratory failure, with or without air-leak
- Inhaled nitric oxide therapy: a treatment for hypoxic respiratory failure
- Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), similar to a heart-lung machine, to provide heart and lung support for critically ill infants who are unresponsive to conventional treatment
- Whole-body cooling for hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)
- Retinopathy of prematurity center for complicated eye problems of extremely premature babies
Learn more about specialized treatments at the NICU.
Make an Appointment
To schedule a consultation or an appointment with a neonatology and NICU expert, please call