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What to Expect

Prenatal Care

The Fetal Care Center is designed for mothers whose babies have been identified as high risk due to serious birth defects or other conditions that may need fetal surgery or other high level interventions immediately or soon after birth.

Once a problem has been detected by your obstetrician, you will be referred to the Fetal Care Center where you will be assigned to our Fetal Care Coordinator. She will assist with care planning and coordination for you and your baby.

Early diagnosis and planning provides the best possible outcome for mother and baby when serious pregnancy complications exist. Our multidisciplinary team of specialists will provide a comprehensive evaluation and fetal diagnostic testing to determine the health of your baby.

Your Fetal Care Coordinator nurse will work closely with you and your doctor throughout the entire process to ensure proper communication and coordination between your doctor and our specialists. She will assist in coordinating your appointments and serve as a central point of contact throughout the rest of your pregnancy.


In certain cases, medical experts agree that it is safer to deliver high-risk infants in the medical center where high-level neonatal care and immediate surgical support are available.

The Fetal Care Center includes two state-of-the-art surgical suites located steps away from Children’s Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU).  Four comfortable mothers’ recovery rooms are located nearby so that both mother and baby can receive care in neighboring units. 

Our Critical Care Transport Team, which provides highly specialized care and transportation to critically ill neonates and infants, is available 24 hours to ensure your baby arrives safely at Children’s Newborn Intensive Care Unit  (NICU).  Our NICU is staffed by a team of experienced neonatologists who will assume the care of your baby along with a multi-disciplinary team of newborn and pediatric specialists. 

Postnatal Care

Your baby will receive the most advanced care in our Level IV Regional NICU where your infant will be put in the immediate care of our skilled team of neonatologists and multidisciplinary team of pediatric specialists. Our state-of–the-art NICU includes specialized pediatric equipment, a cardiac catheterization lab and an ECMO team trained to operate heart and lung bypass equipment.

Children’s NICU has earned a Level IV regional designation, providing the highest level of care as recognized by the American Academy of Pediatrics.  It is the only Level IV unit in the state with immediate, on-site access to complex open heart procedures and surgical interventions with board-certified pediatric surgeons. Led by a neonatology team with more than 100 years of combined experience, our team of neonatologists is trained to handle the most serious birth defects and high-risk pregnancies to ensure the most optimal outcome for your baby.

They will also work closely with our other pediatric specialists and surgeons to provide a coordinated plan of care and will keep you well informed and up-to-date on your baby’s progress throughout your baby’s care.

If your baby should need immediate surgery, our pediatric surgeons, neonatal and pediatric heart surgeons, and pediatric anesthesiologists are some of the most experienced in the region.

If your baby continues to require close medical attention 28 days after term, he or she may be transferred to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) where our multidisciplinary team of specialists, nurses and respiratory therapists trained in pediatric intensive care will care for your baby.

Our NICU Follow-Up Clinic is available to all babies that graduate from the NICU to ensure your baby develops to its full potential. The NICU Follow-Up Clinic specializes in identifying neurodevelopmental delay problems common among NICU babies, and provides early intervention therapies to reduce long-term developmental issues.