Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
Caring hands for precious little lives.
When the birth of your child comes with medical challenges or poses potential risks, our team of neonatal specialists is here to support you and your child. We provide outstanding care for the tiniest babies and those in the most complex situations.
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at St. Bernards Medical Center is designated as a level 3A unit by the Arkansas Department of Health, meaning we safely provide neonatal care to critically ill newborns delivered 12-13 weeks early and sometimes weighing less than 2 lbs.
Our experienced team has provided care to more than 1,500 babies and their families since the NICU opened in 2012. We recently expanded our capacity to care for up to 16 babies, enabling care close to home for more families in our community.
A baby could be admitted to the NICU for any of these conditions:
- Born premature (less than 35 weeks gestation)
- Signs or symptoms of an infection
- Breathing problem
- Feeding problem
- Birth defect
- Blood sugar requiring supplemental IV fluid
- Any symptom that requires close monitoring, as determined by your obstetrician and the neonatologist
Our experienced, specially trained team will work together to care for your baby while in the NICU. This team includes:
- Board-certified neonatologists
- Board-certified developmental pediatrician
- Specially trained registered nurses
- Respiratory therapist
- Patient care technicians
- Occupational therapist
- Certified lactation nurses
- Physical therapist
- Speech therapist
- Social workers
What if I'm delivering at another hospital?
If your baby requires intensive care, he or she can be transferred to St. Bernards Medical Center.
What is the average length of stay?
It is about 14 days. Some babies stay hours, while others have stayed with us for 4 months.
How often can I see my baby and what is the visitors' policy?
A maximum of two visitors, including parents, are welcome to visit any time. Mom and Dad are always allowed to stay in the unit. There will be limited time for other visitors. Siblings ages 12 and older can visit with an adult. We ask that you respect that anyone with a recent or current illness or symptoms of illness should not visit and will not be permitted to visit. Please call us at hospital extension 4392 or 870.207.4392 in preparation for a visit.
What kind of follow-up care will my baby need?
If your baby requires special care after discharge, the neonatologist and case managers will arrange appointments for you.