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Newborns sometimes need extra care. For the sickest and most fragile babies, Washington Regional’s Level III-A Neonatal Intensive Care Unit provides the highest level of care available in Northwest Arkansas. For years, area families have relied on the advanced technology and specialized skills of doctors and nurses at Washington Regional’s NICU to provide lifesaving care for their newborns.

Washington Regional NICU patients receive attentive care from a team that includes three board-certified neonatologists, registered nurses, social workers, case management coordinators, dietitians and respiratory, physical and speech therapists. Plus, at Washington Regional, both mother and baby have immediate access to a full range of comprehensive medical services and specialties available only at a full-service hospital.

Our tradition of family-centered care – which focuses on the needs of mother, newborn and family – fosters a healing environment that promotes growth and bonding. Our NICU patients and their families get helpful follow-up services for their transition home as well as referrals for needed ongoing care.

Moms who choose to breastfeed receive the guidance and support they need from our three certified lactation consultants as well as our nursing staff, all of whom are certified breastfeeding advisors. A special breastfeeding support group focuses on the unique needs of NICU moms, and donor breast milk is available during times when mother’s milk may not be available.

Washington Regional’s community education classes, such as Infant CPR & Safety, Sibling Class and Daddy Boot Camp, are designed to support new parents and other family members as they become more confident and comfortable with the care of a newborn.

To enhance the close bond that develops between our staff and NICU families, each year Washington Regional hosts a NICU reunion. This event is a wonderful opportunity for our NICU graduates and families to visit and celebrate milestones with our nurses, physicians and care team.

In late 2016, Washington Regional added more than 100,000 square feet to the existing Women’s Center and expanded the NICU to 34 patient beds. To help support our families of premature or critically ill infants, the expanded area features 18 private NICU rooms and a NICU family lounge. With the expanded NICU private rooms, families can be with their newborns round the clock, which can help ease the families’ burden and help promote bonding between parent and child.

Features in the new Women and Infants Center include:
+ 34-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit – the largest in Northwest Arkansas and providing the highest level of care available in the region for fragile newborns
+ Private patient rooms that allow parents to stay with their newborn while in the NICU
+ Twins/Multiples rooms
+ 2 open-bay NICU areas with viewing window
+ NICU parent lounge provides lockers, showers and sleep chairs
+ Angel Eye cameras that allow families to easily view their baby when they have to be away from the bedside
+ Milk Lab, staffed by specially trained technologists, that provides a centralized location for storing moms’ expressed breast milk, as well as a sterile preparation space for adding any extra nutrients an infant might need
+ Dedicated pharmacy - for patients of Women and Infants Center
+ Family waiting area