Expert neonatal intensive care in Chesterfield County

If your baby needs help transitioning to life outside the womb, you can trust that Johnston-Willis Hospital's neonatal specialists provide the best care possible. The neonatologists in our Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) treat our tiniest patients, including babies born ill, premature or dependent on drugs.

For more information about our Richmond NICU, please call (804) 320-3627.

Conditions treated in our NICU

Pregnancy and birth can be unpredictable. Our NICU team is prepared to provide compassionate, focused care to newborns born 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 abnormalities, 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 due to maternal addiction

Level III NICU services

Our designation as a Level III NICU means we are 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 him or her to another hospital.

No parent wants to see their baby in the NICU, but it is 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 specialists, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, social workers and lactation consultants.
  • Gentle, yet critical neonatal care: Our NICU cares for the most fragile newborns, including babies 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 hospitals 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 substances.
  • Research-driven care: Our Richmond NICU is part of the Vermont Oxford Network, a worldwide group of more than 1,000 healthcare organizations working together to improve the quality and safety of neonatal care.

Family-centered neonatal care and support

Johnston-Willis' NICU in Richmond offers more than just medical care. We also provide a quiet, nurturing space for your family to spend time with your little one.

Our NICU offers:

  • 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 6:30am and 6:30pm.
  • Unlimited bonding: We encourage you to spend plenty of hands-on time holding or feeding your baby. 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 provide comfort to NICU babies when parents cannot be present. Remember, it is okay to take time to care for yourself or your other children.

Vermont Oxford Network

Johnston-Willis Hospital is a Center of Excellence in Education and Training for Antibiotic Stewardship in Newborn Care

Our NICU team is dedicated to limiting the development of resistant organisms and preserving the effectiveness of antibiotics for future generations. The Vermont Oxford Network (VON) has bestowed an award upon Johnston-Willis Hospital in its completion of Choosing Antibiotics Wisely, an international quality improvement collaborative developed by VON in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to address the overuse and misuse of antibiotics in newborn care. Through this program, Johnston-Willis Hospital employed proven quality improvement methods to implement processes, procedures, and tools aimed at using antibiotics more responsibly.