Neonatal care / NICU

A mother using crutches standing with her partner and looking at their baby in a NICU incubator crib

The neonatology program at Children’s Minnesota provides clinical expertise and compassionate care for thousands of newborns each year, making us the largest high-risk neonatal referral center in the Upper Midwest. Parents and health experts across the region trust us to deliver top-notch care for babies who arrive early or with unique medical needs. And Children’s Minnesota neonatal intensive care and special care nurseries are conveniently connected to The Mother Baby Center.

Whether septuplets, preemies, babies with heart failure, or those that just need a little extra care, we’re here to care for all babies. And we’re proud to have some of the highest survival rates and lowest complication rates in the world.

Levels of care

The three types of nurseries at Children’s Minnesota provide different levels of care:

  • Level IV/III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU): This is the highest level of neonatal intensive care. This all-hands-on-deck unit is where we monitor and treat the most critically ill and premature infants, and where our specialists are ready day and night to provide lifesaving care and respond to the unexpected.
  • Special care nursery (Level II): All the babies we see are special, but the ones in these units need constant monitoring and care, although their conditions are less critical.
  • Infant care center: This is our “step-down” unit. Babies in this unit are recovering and growing, yet have special needs in order to transition to home.

Neonatologists are always available, and additional specialists, including neonatal nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, specialty educated nurses and unit-based pharmacists, care for newborns around the clock.

While a child is in the NICU, we encourage parents to participate in daily observations and treatments. Parents can even sleep in their child’s room as every patient room is private. The quiet, soothing environment was designed to deliver the most extraordinary care and support for important nurturing and bonding. When their child is well enough to go home, we help parents follow up with their pediatrician to make sure their child receives ongoing care.

Learn more about Children’s Minnesota neonatal care program.

video: find out more about our Neonatal program

patient stories: NICU families and providers share their experiences

The Hills were surprised when they found out they were having spontaneous triplets halfway through Hannah’s pregnancy. But, they already knew where they wanted to deliver — The Mother Baby Center in Minneapolis. They wanted to be close to the NICU where their first daughter Vada had received wonderful care after she was born.

Following a pioneering fetal surgery to repair her spinal defect in utero, and weeks of round-the-clock support from the neonatal intensive care team, baby Charlotte is right where she belongs: home.

“We will take care of your baby and we will take care of you.” Parents, doctors and nurses share their experiences in the NICU.

Hear from one family about their experience at The Mother Baby Center at Mercy.