NICU/Neonatology

When a baby is born prematurely or with a serious health condition that requires intensive care, our state-of-the-art Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital (BBCH) is located within the Family Birth Center allowing for immediate care of babies by an extensive team of doctors and staff specially trained to care for newborns.

Caring for more than 900 newborns a year, the NICU neonatologists (specially trained physicians who care for newborns) provide 24-hour in-house coverage at the hospital. Our NICU includes a team of Neonatologists, in-house pediatricians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses and, respiratory therapists. We have direct access to full range of pediatric subspecialty expertise at BBCH, including Maine’s only pediatric cardiac surgeon, pediatric neurosurgeon, and pediatric interventional cardiologist.

For newborns who require less intensive care, there is our Continuing Care Nursery (CCN) a 20-bed unit with single, private rooms staffed by the same highly specialized team of nurses and doctors as the NICU. We offer exceptionally family-centered care that keeps parents involved and informed, and gives you a voice in all treatment decisions

As the region’s primary referral hospital in the state for high-risk obstetrics, Maine Medical Center cares for women from across the state who we know will deliver prematurely or whose baby will be born with a serious medical problem. Working in close collaboration with our Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialists, our neonatology team is in place around the clock to care for these infants with special medical needs.

NICU Amenities & Resources

For parents whose newborn is hospitalized, BBCH offers an array of thoughtful services, amenities and resources:

  • All private NICU and Continuing Care Nursery rooms, each with a pull-out couch or chair so parents can stay overnight
  • Parent invitation to participate in daily rounds to ensure that they are informed about their baby’s condition and involved in treatment decisions
  • Flexible visiting hours
  • A dedicated March of Dimes family support person who visits each mom whose newborn is in the NICU to provide support and education
  • Alternative therapies, including osteopathic manipulation and Reiki, to promote wellness and healing
  • Amenities include a spacious, well-appointed lounge along with kitchen facilities, laundry and showers

Conditions, Diagnosis & Treatment

Learn more about conditions we treat, diagnosis and treatment options we offer.

Conditions

Premature babies and very sick newborns face a variety of health issues. These are some of the most common conditions our neonatology experts treat in the NICU:

  • Prematurity
  • Respiratory distress
  • Respiration distress syndrome
  • Newborn infections, including pneumonia and sepsis
  • Congenital anomalies
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Newborn surgical problems
  • Apnea of prematurity
  • Feeding issues
  • Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), an abnormal growth of blood vessels in the eye

Diagnosis & Treatment

The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital (BBCH) offers a full range diagnostic and treatment capabilities tailored to the unique needs of newborns. These include:

  • Diagnostic imaging, including non-sedated MRI
  • Rapid lab testing
  • Enteral and parenteral nutrition (TPN)
  • All forms of respiratory support including non-invasive continuous positive airway pressure (conventional ventilation), high-frequency oscillatory ventilation and inhaled nitric oxide
  • Therapeutic hypothermia, which involves temporarily reducing a newborn’s body temperature in order to slow disease progression and improve long-term neurological outcomes in infants with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)
  • Surgical repair of congenital heart defects by Maine’s only pediatric cardiac surgeon
  • Surgical repair of neurological conditions by Maine’s only pediatric neurosurgeon
  • Minimally invasive repair of congenital heart defects by Maine’s only pediatric interventional cardiologist
  • Access to the full range of other pediatric medical and surgical subspecialty expertise found only at BBCH