Health Professional News

Children’s Minnesota expands neonatal services for Twin Cities North Metro Region

Having a high-risk pregnancy can be a difficult and overwhelming experience for some mothers, especially for those who have to travel to receive specialized care.

Hoping to reduce that burden on mothers in the Twin Cities North Metro Region, The Mother Baby Center, a partnership between Children’s Minnesota and Allina Health, is expanding its neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) services. The Center will enhance neonatal care at its Mercy Hospital location in Coon Rapids, shifting from a Level II special care nursery to a Level III NICU.


By growing its services from a Level II to a Level III NICU, The Mother Baby Center at Mercy with Children’s Minnesota will be able to care for younger babies, including the most critically ill and premature infants. This expansion will also improve access to neonatal expertise in the region, which means high-risk mothers can deliver their babies closer to home.

Enhanced neonatal capabilities

As a Children’s Minnesota Level III NICU, The Mother Baby Center at Mercy will be able to care for babies born 30 weeks or later. It will also have:

  • Equipment to provide life support as long as necessary
  • Advanced respiratory support
  • Neonatologists, neonatal nurse practitioners and respiratory therapists available 24/7
  • Advanced imaging services
  • Laboratory services
  • Access to pediatric subspecialists, including surgeons, maternal-fetal medicine specialists, ophthalmologists and anesthesiologists

Steps for the expansion process

The NICU launched the service expansion in early 2021, ready to accept neonates 30 weeks and above. It is set to complete the process by mid-2021, when it will care for neonates down to 28 weeks. As part of this expansion, Children’s Minnesota worked with its clinical teams to evaluate and create the resources needed to care for complex maternal-fetal cases. This process included:

  • Establishing clinical criteria for patients receiving advanced maternal/antepartum and neonatal care locally
  • Establishing clinical criteria for transferring patients to other NICUs or centers, including The Mother Baby Center at Abbott Northwestern and United Hospitals
  • Completing an education assessment and developing a comprehensive training program to make sure our staff can care for these patients
  • Identifying any additional resource requirements
  • Developing clinical pathways and processes

About The Mother Baby Center

The Mother Baby Center is a collaboration between two of the best-known names in mother and baby care: Allina Health and Children’s Minnesota. It offers a unique, personalized experience for families by providing top-notch care throughout the childbirth journey. Since opening its first location in 2013, The Mother Baby Center has grown to three centers in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Coon Rapids.

The Mother Baby Center at Abbott Northwestern and Children’s Minnesota includes a Level II special care nursery and Level IV NICU. The Mother Baby Center at United and Children’s Minnesota provides Level III NICU care with a Level II special care nursery embedded within the NICU.

Learn more about The Mother Baby Center and its neonatal care expertise.