Neonatal Care

Some newborns need more specialized care than a regular nursery can offer. Ideally, prenatal care identifies potential health issues and counsels families so these newborns are delivered at hospitals with special care nurseries or neonatal intensive care units (NICUs).

All Premier Health hospitals provide advanced neonatal care either through a special care nursery or NICU.

Special Care Nursery

Special Care Nursery professionals create a warm, comfortable environment to help your baby overcome challenges, become stronger, and continue to grow and develop. Each Premier Health Special Care Nursery is a Level II nursery. This means they’re equipped to address and manage complications that regular nurseries can’t.

Conditions these Level II nurseries manage include:

  • Low birth weight/premature birth
  • Genetic conditions
  • Respiratory difficulties
  • Infections
  • Drug dependence

A Level II nursery is available at Atrium Medical Center. It's always open, and parents may visit their baby anytime, day or night.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

If your baby requires an even higher level of care, look no further than Miami Valley Hospital’s highly experienced, nationally recognized Level IIIB Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Our dedicated NICU team provides comprehensive care for critically ill newborns. This includes premature infants born as young as 23 weeks’ gestation, as well as term newborns who experience complication after birth. 

A board-certified neonatologist and neonatal nurse practitioner are available 24/7, underscoring our advanced care and quality outcomes. An infant’s stay in our NICU typically lasts a week to a few months, depending on condition at birth.

Common conditions our NICU treats include:

  • Severe prematurity (less than 28 weeks gestational age)
  • Respiratory distress/apnea
  • Feeding problems
  • Withdrawal from opioids
  • Complications from labor or the birth process

Miami Valley Hospital’s NICU offers a long history of success, including:

  • Dayton’s only facility offering a special heart-lung bypass machine used for treating newborns with severe respiratory failure and some heart problems
  • The first in Ohio to offer ECMO  (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation); the 11th ECMO center in the U.S.
  • Specialization in laser eye procedures to alleviate retinal scarring occurring in premature infants
  • Cooling therapies to reduce severity or extent of brain damage from oxygen deprivation

Level II/Level III designations describe the level of care facilities offer newborns. The guidelines are published by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The higher the level, the more complex the care.

Specialized Newborn Care Innovations

We continually work with families to improve the lives of their critically ill infants by delivering up-to-date, evidence-based care. This work is done through research and quality improvement activities.  We’ve been involved in developing specialized treatments that include:

  • Medicines (surfactant replacement therapy) to help premature infants with poorly developed lungs
  • An innovative method for delivering life-saving surfactant to infant lungs
  • Total body cooling
  • New drugs for infections

We’re locally and nationally recognized for our quality improvement efforts. This commitment to quality helps keep your infant safe while also continuing to advance our care. 

Our Neonatal Care Team

We surround you and your baby with a caring neonatal team experienced in specialized care for newborns.

  • Neonatologists – Pediatrician specialized in managing newborns with respiratory disease, infections, birth defects, prematurity, or critical illnesses
  • Neonatal nurses – Nurses who provide most of the day-to-day assessment and care of newborns
  • Respiratory therapists – Specialists who provide care through various breathing treatments
  • Supportive staff – dietitians, social workers, breastfeeding consultants, and pastoral care counselors


Contact Us

If you’re pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, schedule an appointment with a physician or certified nurse midwife, take a virtual tour of our maternity centers, or register for childbirth, breastfeeding, and family education classes.

Visit our locations page to find a Premier Health maternity center near you and for additional contact information.