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Home > Medical Services > Birthplace & NICU > Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
The Mercy NICU is one of only a few of its kind in the U.S. and is setting a new standard for care. You'll find the most attentive – and safest – innovative care you and your baby deserve. Above all else, you and your baby are the most important part of your care team.
"I was extremely impressed by the care that was provided to me & my baby - thoroughly enjoyed all of the nurses/techs that care for us."
You will always be included in your baby's plan of care and decision-making. Working with you, our NICU nursing staff creates a "developmental care plan" that reflects your baby's likes, dislikes, needs and strengths. This helps the healthcare team individualize your baby's care according to baby's needs.
Mercy is fully equipped to care for babies who are born at 30 to 32 weeks gestation (based on baby’s health) and higher. This time frame aligns with family-centered care, which encourages you to spend as much time as possible bonding with your new baby. We believe babies born earlier than 30 to 32 weeks gestation deserve the very best care available in the state – at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital, which is #20 in the nation for neonatology according to U.S. News & World Report.
Plus, at Mercy you’ll have access to Iowa’s highest-level neonatal experts – the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital neonatal team – working with Mercy’s NICU team beginning at birth.
Our staff has more than two decades of experience, and we're home to the area's most experienced neonatologist, Dr. Roger Allen, so you can rest assured you and baby will be in great hands.
Learn more about Dr. Allen's remarkable career. (Here's a sneak peek: premature twins he cared for were in the Guinness Book of Records!)
We’re also proud of our experienced NICU nurses, who have been with us an average of 12 years.
"Julie was so good. She instantly put me at ease about baby Stella's health."
Mercy is home to an advanced Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
This means you will receive the best care, using the most state-of-the-art equipment and from Mercy NICU staff who have experience handling the most complicated cases for premature and ill babies greater than 30-32 weeks gestation, or 2 lbs. 11 oz.
In cases where higher intensity care is required for babies under 30 weeks, we have a relationship with the University of Iowa Children's Hospital for the transfer and care of these babies. To put it into perspective, less than 1% of babies born at Mercy are transferred to a higher level of care – and that is to the University.
Fortunately, very few babies ever require specialized care, but should your baby need it, rest assured. Mercy is equipped to handle high-risk pregnancies, and babies who need special care
Both parents can stay with their newborn in the private, full-size NICU suites at Mercy. This allows you to be near your baby at all times, and the opportunity to truly be a part of his or her care.
The NICU suites are designed to be gentle and sensitive to your baby's needs. They feature fully equipped special-care beds, with built-in scales so babies do not need to be disturbed to be weighed. A central monitoring system is in place for constant and close observation.
A multidisciplinary team will care for your baby at Mercy. Along with your physicians and nurses, this includes dietitians, social workers, occupational and physical therapists, lactation consultants, respiratory therapists, pharmacists and the full services that are offered at Mercy, specially trained to help with your baby's care.
Your baby's care doesn't end once he or she is discharged.
Through a Developmental Care Clinic, the same team you had while at Mercy's NICU, including Dr. Allen, your nurses, and specialists like physical therapists, speech therapists, dietitians and social workers, will stay involved with your baby to ensure he or she gets the support they need.
You'll also have the opportunity to get a home visit from one of our lactation consultants, who will weigh baby, check his or her vitals, and can help answer your breastfeeding questions, or any questions you may have.
There is nothing like bonding with someone going through what you're experiencing (or even just having the opportunity to ask other moms questions). Our Breastfeeding Group is a great place to meet other moms, and ask our experts your questions. The class is free and meets weekly, everyone is welcome.