Neonatal Intensive Care in Chesterfield County

If your new baby needs help transitioning to life outside the womb, you can trust our team to provide the best care possible. The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Johnston-Willis Hospital treats Chesterfield County’s tiniest patients, including babies born ill, premature, or dependent on drugs.

Our designation as a Level III NICU in Central Virginia means we’re better equipped to handle complications than many other hospitals. If the unexpected occurs, we can care for your baby immediately — eliminating the need to transfer to another hospital.

Why Choose Johnston-Willis Hospital for Neonatal Intensive Care

No parent wants to see their baby in the NICU, but it’s reassuring to know advanced neonatal care is here if you need it. We offer:

  • Leading neonatal expertise. Our experienced team is led by neonatologists (doctors with advanced training in caring for sick or premature newborns) who are on-call 24/7. It also includes neonatal clinical nurse specialists, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, social workers, and lactation consultants.
  • Care that’s critical but gentle. Our NICU cares for the most fragile babies, including those born before 32 weeks or who weigh less than 3.3 pounds.
  • Support for immature lungs. We have the respiratory equipment and staff necessary to treat babies who have trouble breathing.
  • Renowned care for drug-dependent babies. We were among the first in Central Virginia to treat newborns with withdrawal symptoms caused by neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). Our maternal addiction program offers respectful care and support to moms, infants, and families addicted to opioids or other substances.
  • Research-driven care. Our NICU is part of the Vermont Oxford Network, a worldwide group of more than 1,000 health care organizations working together to improve the quality and safety of neonatal care.

High Quality Care for Most Neonatal Concerns

Pregnancy and birth can be unpredictable. Our NICU team is prepared to treat babies with a broad range of complications and conditions, including:

  • Premature birth
  • Low birth weight
  • Complications during labor and delivery, including breech birth, lack of oxygen, meconium in the lungs, or the umbilical cord circling the baby’s neck
  • Birth defects including spina bifida, Down syndrome, structural heart defects, and gastroschisis (when the intestines grow outside the body)
  • Infections ranging from Group B streptococcus to chlamydia and herpes
  • Respiratory problems such as rapid breathing and apnea (pauses during breathing)
  • Medical conditions including hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, and jaundice
  • Exposure to opioids, other drugs, or alcohol in the womb

Family-Centered Service and Support

Johnston-Willis Hospital’s NICU offers more than just medical care. We also provide quiet, nurturing space for your family to spend time with your baby. We offer:

  • Extended visitation. You can stay by your baby’s side nearly 24 hours a day. Our NICU only limits visitors during two, hour-long shift changes at 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.
  • Unlimited bonding. We encourage you to spend plenty of hands-on time with your baby, holding or feeding as much as possible. We also welcome visitation with siblings and grandparents whenever possible.
  • An extra pair of hands. Our Cuddler Program offers carefully trained volunteers who hold, read to, and console NICU babies when you can’t be present. Remember, it’s okay to take time to care for yourself or your other children.

If you’re pregnant and struggling with substance use, don’t lose hope. Without judgement, we’ll help you and your baby stay healthy for the best possible outcomes.

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