Best-in-class care for babies

neonatal 3

The neonatology program at Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota has the advanced treatment your little one needs, whether she was diagnosed with a condition while in the womb or she needs special care after birth. Our neonatal intensive care units are fully equipped to treat the littlest babies with the most critical needs.

Surprises don't surprise us

No matter what ails your little one, we can help — we're the largest neonatology program in the Upper Midwest, so we've seen it all. That includes many premature babies (born at less than 37 weeks' gestation), as well as those delivered on time who have an anomaly that's detected before or at birth. Whether treating conditions common or uncommon, our highly skilled team is equipped to care for your newest family member.

Here's just a small sampling of what we're experts at treating.

  • Brain and central nervous system
    • Hydrocephalus — The fluid surrounding the brain is unable to drain, causing swelling
    • Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy — Serious brain injury that can lead to dysfunction, seizures, cognitive defects and cerebral palsy
    • Intraventricular hemorrhage — Bleeding in the brain
    • Retinopathy of prematurity — Undeveloped blood vessels in the retina at the back of the eye, which can cause vision loss or blindness
    • Spina bifida — Abnormal development of the back bones around the spinal cord
  • Breathing and lungs
    • Apnea of prematurity — Breathing that's repeatedly interrupted during sleep in premature babies
    • Birth asphyxia — When a baby's brain and other organs don't get enough oxygen around the time of birth
    • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia — A serious lung condition that affects premature infants
    • Respiratory distress syndrome — A breathing disorder in which the lungs don't produce enough surfactant, a liquid that coats the inside of the lungs and helps breathing
    • Persistent pulmonary hypertension — A baby's circulation changes back to that of a fetus, which results in less blood flow to the lungs
    • Pneumonia — A lung infection
  • Gastrointestinal system
    • Congenital diaphragmatic hernia — An opening in the diaphragm that causes some organs to move from the abdomen to the chest cavity
    • Gastroschisis — A hole in the abdominal wall, in which a child's intestines stick out
    • Intestinal atresia — Part of the intestine doesn't form completely
    • Necrotizing enterocolitis — Infection and inflammation that causes destruction to the bowel
    • Omphalocele — A birth defect in which abdominal organs protrude through the area near the umbilical cord
  • Infections (acquired during pregnancy, birth or early newborn period)
    • Group B Streptococcus — A bacterium that a mother can pass to her baby during pregnancy or delivery; it can cause pneumonia and meningitis
    • Listeriosis — A food-borne illness in mothers that can lead to problems such as pneumonia, sepsis and meningitis in newborns
    • Sepsis — An infection that can cause the body's immune system to attack itself
  • Other
    • Cardiac — Issues with the heart, including an irregular heartbeat rhythm
    • Genetics — Issues that are inherited, including problems with chromosomes
    • Hematologic — Issues with the blood, including bleeding disorders
    • Kidney — Issues with the kidney, including when it develops abnormally
    • Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome — A group of problems a baby has when withdrawing from narcotics, because of a mother's use during pregnancy
    • Skeletal — Issues with the bones, such as shortened limbs or thin bones

What sets us apart in neonatal care

Children's provides all-around exceptional neonatology services, starting with private rooms and family-centered care that respects parents and other relatives as important members of the health care team, but there are a few areas in which we really stand out:

  • Enriching lives — literally and figuratively. Children's lays claim to Minnesota's first — and largest — extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) program. For babies with severe lung conditions, heart failure or other serious medical conditions that impair heart or lung function, an ECMO machine enriches the child's blood with oxygen and then pumps it back into the body.
  • Getting a head start. Offering everything from comprehensive evaluation and diagnostics, such as fetal heart testing, to surgery while your child is still in the womb, the Midwest Fetal Care Center — the only one of its kind in the Upper Midwest — identifies and addresses many conditions while your baby is within womb. And because fetal surgeries are performed at The Mother Baby Center in Minneapolis, you can rest assured that both mom and baby will receive the highest level of care.
  • It's all about brainpower. The only program of its kind in Minnesota, Children's - St. Paul Neonatal Neurointensive Care Program treats neonates who are at high risk for brain injury. A collaboration between neonatology, neurology and neurosurgery, the program offers specialized neurologic evaluation through state-of-the-art technology such as continuous EEG monitoring and NICU nurses who are trained in neurologic assessment. Babies who benefit include those with neurologic injury, seizures and structural brain abnormalities, as well as those needing therapeutic hypothermia (total body cooling).
  • Arriving here in a flash. When you're tiny, time is of the essence. That's why we offer neonatal transport from any distance in the Upper Midwest. The neonatal transport team receives specialized training to provide the safest transfer of newborns and infants, which can be done by ambulance, helicopter or fixed-wing plane. They're available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and are equipped to implement treatments such as nitric oxide therapy immediately upon arrival at the hospital and during the transport.

Comprehensive neonatal care requires a variety of services. The following are offered:

  • Diagnostic services
    • Diagnostic testing
    • Fetal diagnosis
    • Hearing screenings
    • Retinopathy screening
    • Congenital heart screening (CCHD)
  • Developmental services
    • Developmental assessment and therapy
    • Developmental follow-up program
    NIDCAP resources
    • Specialized feeding support for infants
  • Wellness services
    • Infant massage
    • Infant monitoring services
    • Kangaroo care
    • Lactation and infant feeding consultation
    • Parent-to-parent classes
    • Chaplain
  • Psychosocial assessment, support and referral
  • High frequency oscillatory ventilation
  • Inhaled nitric oxide
  • Resuscitation and stabilization

And as an organization dedicated to family-centered care, we offer many child and family services and resources, such as interpretive services.


LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR NEONATAL PROGRAM

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Meet the team
What to expect
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