Care for babies who need it most

Whether your baby has been born prematurely or at full term but needing intensive care, it is important for you to know what your baby needs is time—time for the premature newborn to mature and time for the high-risk newborn to overcome severe illness. For both, Main Line Health's neonatal intensive care units (NICU)—located at all four acute care hospitals in the Philadelphia suburbs—are staffed by neonatology specialists from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Board certified neonatologists and neonatal advance practice providers from CHOP provide high-quality, specialized newborn and neonatal intensive care for newborns and babies.

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit team

When you come to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, you can be confident that you and your newborn are in the hands of experts. Each year our four NICU's care for hundreds of babies who are premature, and our collaborative team supports premature and full-term infants with respiratory failure, sepsis, jaundice and other neonatal conditions that require special care. Our unit is staffed by a team of medical professionals who are specially trained in the area of newborn medicine to provide in-hospital patient care with a specific role in maintaining the health and well-being of you and your baby.

In addition to neonatology specialists, pediatric subspecialists from CHOP in neurology, cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, ophthalmology and surgery support the staff as needed. We offer advanced, state of the art neurological monitoring, cardiac testing, and specialized newborn retinal specialists – giving the families high-level of expertise. Due to respiratory systems of infants in the NICU, they are often adversely affected by prematurity and serious illness our registered respiratory therapists are available around the clock to aid in this important aspect of treatment or feeding and nutrition support.

All along the way, our nurses, specially educated and experienced in the care of high-risk and premature infants, will plan your infant's care with the neonatologist, the parents and other healthcare professionals. A social worker is also available to counsel and direct you to helpful community resources and help you to cope with the emotional stress and practical problems associated with having a baby in the NICU. Our parents' support groups. Parents Advisory Network (PAN) and Project Sweet Peas (PSP) offer additional personal support to help you deal with having a baby cared for in the NICU.

Developmental specialists

If a baby requires a prolonged hospital stay, registered physical, speech and occupational therapists are called upon to assist in the infant's developmental progress by planning exercise programs to be carried out by the nursing staff on a regular basis.

Any child who may be at risk for developmental delays will be evaluated through the first five years of life. Through the CHOP neurodevelopment follow-up program, infants and toddlers are assessed every three months for achievement of developmental milestones. Infants who demonstrate difficulties are referred for early intervention, a state-funded therapy support service.

A collaboration to provide the care your baby needs

Our team will keep you fully informed explaining your baby's diagnosis and treatment in understandable terms, discussing any treatment options you might have, and inviting your family's input for creating the treatment plan most appropriate for your baby. Daily emails are sent to you providing the latest updates in your baby's progress.

We fully recognize that you, the family, play an important role in the care and healing process of your baby. We want you to be an active participant in the decision-making process. Our physicians and nurses will work hard to build a strong partnership with you for your baby's care. At the end of your infant's hospital course, a copy of the discharge summary is faxed to your baby's primary care physician. Anything else to add about stay over rooms for families/parents, milk bank, storage for breastmilk?

Our pledge

We understand it is not easy to have a baby admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit. It is important for you to know that our neonatology team will do everything possible to make this situation go smoothly with the best possible outcome.