Trust the experienced team at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center’s Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to give your baby extra attention and skilled care. Feel peace of mind knowing you can take an active role in your baby’s care.

What’s a NICU?

A NICU is an area in a hospital where babies with certain health conditions can get 24/7, comprehensive care from experts with specialized technology.

Award-Winning, Level III NICU

Expect treatments that save lives and help babies reach the best outcomes at Shady Grove Medical Center’s well-equipped, Level III NICU. The American Academy of Pediatrics awards NICUs a Level III designation for quality of care, expertise of staff and other factors.

The Maryland Patient Safety Center (MPSC) Neonatal Collaborative gave our NICU a gold medal award for meeting the highest standards.

Conditions We Treat

Your baby may need care in a NICU due to:

NICU Services

Your newborn may be brought to an Adventist HealthCare NICU thanks to the high level of care we offer. Your baby and family may benefit from services such as:

  • Advanced breathing support, including continuous ventilator support, and monitoring equipment designed specifically for babies
  • Laboratory and imaging facilities for diagnostic and screening tests
  • Pediatric-focused nutrition and pharmacy support
  • Social services
  • Spiritual care

Family-Focused Care

Count on our staff to listen, answer your questions and help you understand your baby’s condition and treatment plan. You can stay with your baby as much as possible.

Morning Check-Ins at Your Child’s Bedside

During daily multidisciplinary rounds at 10 a.m., you’ll talk to and receive updates from your NICU care team. You can also reach out to our team at any time after rounds to talk about your baby’s care. For confidentiality, our staff only provides information to parents and/or legal guardians.

Nursing Shift Change

During nursing shift change, we ask parents and families not to come to the NICU. Shift change happens at 6:45 a.m. to 7:15 a.m. and 6:45 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.

When You Arrive at the NICU

Your baby’s safety is our top priority, so the NICU is a locked unit. To enter, press the button outside the entry doors and a staff member will let you in.

Handwashing Policy

Wash your hands when you enter the NICU before you visit your baby. To prevent infections, use soap and water or hand sanitizer, and always wash your hands before and after you touch your baby.

Rely on our staff to wash their hands before and after touching your baby.

Matching ID Bands

You and your baby will receive matching identification (ID) bands. Wear your band at all times when you’re in the NICU, showing it to staff when you arrive and when you’re at your baby’s bedside. If you call us for an update, read the number on the band.

Feeding Your Baby in the NICU

Whenever possible, you’ll be able to breastfeed your baby or bottle-feed your baby breast milk or formula while he or she gets care at the NICU. If needed, our staff may add extra nutrition or calories to your milk to support your baby’s growth. Deliver fresh or frozen breast milk by 11 a.m. each day so it’s ready for your baby’s feeding.

NICU Amenities for Families

While your baby gets care at Shady Grove Medical Center, visit our NICU Family Lounge with kitchen area, flat-screen television and a comfortable space to relax. You’ll also have access to lockers to store your personal items and a family restroom.

Family & Friends Visitor Policy

Loved ones are welcome to visit your baby in the NICU, but they must be with a person who has an ID band at all times. Talk to your baby’s nurse about how many people are allowed by your baby’s bedside. The number depends on your baby’s condition and the condition of other babies in the NICU.

Age Restrictions

Visitors under 16 are not allowed in the NICU unless they are a sibling of the baby. Brothers and sisters who visit should be at least three years old. Fill out a sibling health clearance form before each visit. Sibling visits should only last five to 10 minutes.

NICU Waiting Room

Visitors can wait in the NICU waiting room near the unit entrance.

Closed to Visitors

Occasionally, the NICU may close to all visitors for safety. Look for a sign by the NICU entrance.

When Will My Baby Be Ready to Go Home?

For your child’s health and safety, he or she will need to reach certain milestones before going home. Your baby must:

  • Eat enough during feedings from a bottle or breast
  • Have normal heart and breathing (respiratory) rates
  • Maintain a normal body temperature in an open crib
  • Not need any intravenous (IV) medications or fluids
  • Show consistent weight gain

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