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NICU

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

We know that having a baby is an exciting time for a family and our teams of professionals at all Baptist locations want you to have an amazing experience. While each birth experience at a Baptist Hospital is unique, they all have one thing in common: our staff’s uncompromising dedication to providing the best compassionate care possible for moms, their babies and their families.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

New babies sometimes need specialized care in order to begin a healthy life. Having a baby in the NICU can be a very stressful and emotional time for both you and your family. If your baby needs special care or treatment, our Level III and level IV NICUs provide highly skilled nursing staff, neonatologists and the most technologically advanced equipment to care for your newborn. The NICU multidisciplinary team embraces a family-centered approach to patient care. During your baby’s stay, we will communicate and work closely with you in planning developmentally appropriate care based upon the needs of your baby and family.

Baptist Neonatal Intensive Care

Connect to comprehensive neonatal intensive care through Baptist Health System at four conveniently located hospitals in San Antonio:

Level IV NICU

  • North Central Baptist Hospital (60 beds)
    520 Madison Oak Drive

Level IIIA NICUs

  • Baptist Medical Center (24 beds)
    111 Dallas Street
  • Northeast Baptist Hospital (16 beds)
    8811 Village Drive

Level IIIB NICU

  • St. Luke's Baptist Hospital (24 beds)
    7930 Floyd Curl Drive

NICU Services Include:

  • State-of-the-Art Simulation Lab for Training
  • Neonatologists and Neonatal Nurse Practitioners
  • Highly Skilled & Compassionate Nursing Staff
  • Newborn Critical Care
  • Hypothermia Therapy
  • Experienced Neonatal and Pediatric Subspecialty Support
  • Lactation Consultants
  • Newborn Transport

Connecting you to excellence in neonatal intensive care services.

More Information

Complications Giving Birth – Levels of NICU

Pregnant women may have heard the term NICU, which stands for neonatal intensive care unit. When there are complications giving birth, a baby may require special care in the NICU. One of the most common complications giving birth is premature delivery, defined as any time before 37 weeks’ gestation.

Complications vary in premature births:

  • Immature lung development is the primary concern that doctors have for premature labor, and there are ways to check the maturity level of the baby’s lungs.
  • Infection may be a possibility due to weak immunity, and placing the baby in an incubator is a way to protect from infections. The incubator also helps the baby maintain body heat, another issue of prematurity.
  • Jaundice is a yellowish skin color that is treated by a special light in the NICU.
  • Premature newborns may need feeding through an intravenous (IV) tube if their gastrointestinal system isn’t able to absorb nutrients yet or if they don’t have the ability to suck or swallow on their own.
  • Other conditions may also occur with red blood cell counts, intestines or the heart, or there may be bacteria in the bloodstream.

Many women don’t know there will be complications giving birth until the day arrives. Therefore, it’s helpful to understand about hospitals’ different levels of neonatal care. Here is what to expect from each of the NICU levels:

Level I – Basic Neonatal Care

A hospital categorized as Level I is equipped to provide basic care for babies who are considered “low-risk” – born between 35-37 weeks gestation. They can also provide routine postnatal care for healthy babies, as well as stabilize newborns who need to be transferred to a hospital that offers a higher level of care.

Level II – Special Neonatal Care

A Level II hospital provides special care for preterm babies born later than 32 weeks gestation. While these newborns will need more care than that available at a Level I hospital, these babies are generally stable or have minor issues that can usually be resolved quickly. 

Level III – Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

A Level III hospital has an actual NICU, or neonatal intensive care unit. Any baby born at less than 32 weeks with a low birth weight, as well as babies born with issues like birth defects, illness or delivery difficulties, should be cared for at a hospital with a NICU. Here, specially trained doctors and nurses, plus a broad range of specialists, are available, as is the technology needed to care for premature babies and those with more serious issues.

Level IV – Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

A hospital that’s designated as having a Level IV NICU has the highest level of newborn care available. They have all the same capabilities of a Level III NICU while also having additional capabilities, expertise and experience in caring for those infants needing the most critical, complex and urgent care, including those needing surgical attention.

As you research hospitals to determine where you’d like to deliver, it’s important to check the hospital’s neonatal care designation. While an expectant mom rarely expects complications giving birth that require special care, you’ll want to know help is there if you need it. 

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