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Special Care Nursery (Level 2 NICU)

The Family Birthing Center at NMC Health includes a special care nursery (also called a Level 2 NICU) to care for your baby's special needs after birth.

small newborn baby swaddled in blanket and hat in special care nursery stock photo

When your bundle of joy needs a little extra care

Having a baby can be one of the most incredible moments in your life. But when things don’t go to plan, NMC Health is here to protect and defend your most precious treasures.

Sometimes, newborns need special care immediately after birth. This can be for a number of reasons like prematurity, breathing issues or infections. When a baby is admitted to the Special Care Nursery, it is for a reason that makes them susceptible to germs and illnesses from others.

The Family Birthing Center at NMC Health takes care of these babies in the Special Care Nursery, also called a Level 2 NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). Here, we take care of babies born after 34 weeks gestation.

Babies born before 37 weeks gestational age are considered pre-term. They sometimes require round-the-clock care and attention from specially trained nurses.

Our expert pediatricians are on call 24 hours a day for any high-risk situations, including services within the Special Care Nursery.

Babies in the special care nursery sometimes need a little bit of help breathing. Our skilled respiratory therapy team will help by providing your newborn with tools to help them breathe better. Special Care Nurseries can also provide specialized care for babies who are born sick or having certain conditions needing specific care.

To give your baby every chance of a quick recovery, visitors must be limited. The following policy will help guide you and your family during visitation.

Special Care Nursery Visitor Guidelines

Please check with the NMC Health Medical Center for any updates to the visitor rules regarding our COVID-19 Visitor Policy.

  1. All visitors must wash their hands thoroughly before coming in contact with your baby
  2. Parents are free to visit anytime, day or night. We encourage you to do so. It’s proven that newborns respond to their parents’ voices. Hearing you speak may be the best medicine for your baby
  3. Siblings and grandparents can visit with a parent only when your baby is the only newborn in the nursery. You will be required to answer questions in a questionnaire regarding the health of any siblings wanting to see the baby in the Special Care Nursery
  4. In the event a C-section delivery is needed, all visitors will be asked to leave the nursery until nursing staff are sure the new infant does not require special care. You will be notified either way
  5. If you are dismissed before your baby, you may bring siblings and grandparents with you to visit. We ask that you have someone available to look after small children so you may spend time alone with your baby.

Our goal is to provide your baby with the best possible care, in a safe manner. If you have any questions, please contact the Family Birthing Center nursing staff.

If you have a medical emergency, call 911 or visit the NMC Health Medical Center Emergency Department.


The length of stay for each baby in our special care nursery can vary depending on the level of care they need. Your baby will remain in the special care unit until they meet all their required needs on their own without intervention. If you have questions about your baby’s progress, please speak with your nurse team.

It’s not easy as a parent to hear that your baby will need to spend time in the special care nursery. NMC Health believes parents and children need special bonding time, as that bonding provides benefits to both you and your baby. Ask your nurse about ways you will be able to bond with your baby through breastfeeding, skin-to-skin contact or other means.

At the Family Birthing Center at NMC Health, we take precautions to ensure every patient is safe and healthy. 

When you get to see and hold your baby, make sure to wash your hands with soap and water before and after. Wear a mask if you are sick or not feeling well. 

Our Family Birthing Center team puts infection control as one of its highest priorities. If you or someone in your family is sick or has recently been sick, ask your nurse before having contact with baby.

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