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Neonatal Care

Miami Valley Hospital’s (MVH) nationally recognized Level IIIB Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) provides comprehensive care for critically ill-newborns. These babies include those born prematurely and full-term newborns with complications.

We have the region’s most experienced Level IIIB Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. This means we are able to care for babies born at any viable gestational age. Our mission is to offer the highest quality care and latest technology possible to all our patients and families. As the rate of premature infant births in Ohio continues to grow, we are committed to improving care to meet the increasing demand.

Approximately 15 percent of all babies are born prematurely. Most premature babies require special care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nursery. About 80 percent of the 830 admissions each year to the NICU are prematurity-related. The other 20 percent are term babies with the possibility of infection, minor breathing difficulty, congenital anomalies or genetic problems.


Saving Babies Every Day is Our Specialty

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is equipped to handle situations that go beyond simple complications. Not all premature babies have respiratory distress. Premature babies also commonly have apnea and feeding problems. A premature infant’s stay in the NICU typically lasts a week to a few months depending on how early the infant was born. While some will have serious complications, the vast majority of premature infants can live normal lives.

With the exception of complex surgery, the MVH NICU offers everything a baby may need. Babies requiring complex surgery are transferred to Dayton Children's Hospital, while babies needing heart surgery are transferred to Cincinnati Children's Hospital or Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. 

Miami Valley Hospital is the only facility in Dayton offering extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). An ECMO device is a heart-lung bypass machine that is used as a temporary external heart bypass for the heart and lungs. It's used as a treatment for term and near-term newborns with severe respiratory failure or some heart problems. Miami Valley Hospital was the first center in Ohio to offer ECMO in 1986, and was the eleventh ECMO center in the world. There are still only a few centers with this advanced equipment and expertise throughout the U.S.

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit does laser eye procedures to alleviate retinal scarring that can occur in very premature infants. We also offer a cooling therapy for term infants with possible brain damage.

Equipped for Excellence

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Miami Valley Hospital expanded from 49 beds to 60 in 2009. The expanded unit grew to 51,000 square feet and all 60 beds are in private rooms, creating more privacy for the family. The expansion ensures that MVH is the appropriate facility for mothers-to-be and their infants. Patient satisfaction scores are in the 99th percentile, further illustrating that the care our nurses and physicians provide is excellent.

Each NICU room is equipped with a rocker-recliner, called a skin-to-skin chair. Mothers and fathers can sit or recline and provide skin-to-skin contact care for their infants. Research has shown that infants who have skin-to-skin contact for extended periods of time with their mothers or fathers have shorter hospital stays enhancing their breathing, sleeping and digestion.

Premature babies benefit from human contact for many reasons. Since their growth in the womb was shortened, this extra care is needed to help them grow and develop normally. Ideally, these infants benefit most from touch and sensory contact with their parents.

The labor and delivery and postpartum units are close enough to the NICU to allow rapid response to the most critical situations while keeping family close to baby.

Dedicated to Research

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is dedicated to research that will improve the lives of newborns. Research has involved surfactant treatment for premature lungs, new drugs for infection, special testing for hearing problems and much more.  

The MVH NICU is also a recognized leader in quality improvement projects statewide and nationwide. These commitments provide a blanket of security for our babies and ensure the continuation of leading-edge care, technology and excellence.

Your Neonatal Staff

Our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit team includes: 

  • Board certified neonatologists
  • Masters-trained neonatal nurse practitioners
  • NICU-trained nurses and respiratory therapists
  • Social workers
  • Lactation consultants 
  • Pastoral care counselors 

Our NICU is staffed with a board-certified neonatologist and certified nurse practitioner 24/7, 365 days a year.

Fetal to Newborn Care Center

Every 4.5 minutes, a baby is born with a birth defect or congenital anomaly requiring specialized care. Miami Valley Hospital and Dayton Children’s Hospital have come together to form the Fetal to Newborn Care Center, a new resource to provide a seamless continuum of care to women facing a high-risk pregnancy. The Fetal to Newborn Care Center was created out of the Southwest Ohio Neonatal Collaborative, a joint venture between the Level IIIB neonatal intensive care units at Miami Valley and Dayton Children’s. Women at the Fetal to Newborn Care Center will have access to the expertise at both locations depending on the unique needs of each pregnancy including full access to a dedicated team of maternal-fetal care specialists, high-risk obstetricians, neonatologists, neonatal surgeons and pediatric subspecialists.  Our nurse navigator will guide patients from diagnosis to delivery and beyond.

Learn More about the Fetal to Newborn Care CenterOff Site Icon

Learn About Neonatal Care

The Premier Health Library offers a wealth of information about childbirth and neonatal care. Learn about conditions, treatments, how to prepare for childbirth and much more.


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These Miami Valley Hospital locations offer Maternity Services.
Family Beginnings at Miami Valley Hospital
Maternity at Miami Valley Hospital
Maternity at Miami Valley Hospital South
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