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Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

picture of baby in NICU

Welcoming a new baby is one of life’s most precious moments. Sometimes newborns arrive early or have special medical needs. When this happens, babies are transferred to Denver Health’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), adjacent to Labor and Delivery. The NICU is designed for newborns in need of intensive medical care following birth. 

Visiting Your Newborn

Mom and dad/partner can visit their baby in the NICU at any time. We can provide accommodations if parents would like to stay with their newborn around the clock. We have new, comfortable sleeper sofas in the NICU where a parent can sleep if desired. Alternatively, mothers are able to board in a separate room with a bathroom and shower when space is available. Our special NICU family room has a TV, activities for siblings, and a restroom with a shower. 

Newborn Rooms and Equipment

Our 20-bed NICU features both private and semi-private rooms equipped with state-of-the-art medical monitoring equipment. We have sophisticated ventilation equipment, whole body cooling technology, and continuous EEG with video monitoring. Each year we care for more than 300 newborns.

Medical Care Team

A baby’s multidisciplinary care team is made up of neonatologists, neonatal nurse practitioners (NNPs), physician assistants (PAs), and neonatal nurses. Support services include social workers, pediatric pharmacists, and occupational, speech and physical therapists. The NICU is also supported by four maternal-fetal medicine physicians and on-site pediatric subspecialists including pediatric surgery, pediatric neurosurgery, pediatric radiology, pediatric anesthesia and pediatric neurology. 

Parents and Family

NICU newborns need their family’s love and support to thrive and grow. We encourage parents to visit their baby throughout the day and night. Studies show that infants benefit from human contact including “kangaroo care,” in which a diapered baby is placed in an upright position on their parent’s bare chest. We advocate family-centered care. Each morning when the medical team rounds at a baby’s bedside, we invite families to join in on rounds to give us feedback and ask questions.

Breastfeeding Moms

Breast milk is the most nourishing and well-tolerated first food for newborns. It also helps protect NICU babies against infection. We strongly support moms who desire to breastfeed or provide breast milk for their baby in the NICU. The NICU has a dedicated International Board Certified Lactation Consultant who is also a neonatal nurse practitioner. Donor breast milk is available when recommended by a baby’s medical team or when needed to bridge mom’s supply. Breastfeeding moms can receive a complimentary meal tray when visiting their baby in the NICU.

On-Line Education and Support

Families can access the March of Dimes® NICU Family Support Print and Web Based Program via a computer in the NICU. The program offers families high quality, accurate, and up-to-date information on procedures and conditions common in the NICU. Internet materials are available in English and Spanish. Parents also can connect with other families who share the NICU experience at shareyourstory.org.

Our commitment to you

With compassion and respect, we will care for, treat, and educate our patients and families whom we are honored to serve.

With tenaciousness and teamwork, we will strive each day to exceed the expectations of our patients, families, and community by improving the services we provide.

Our Neonatal Intensive Care Team