Neonatology & Newborns
Neonatology Services at Mary Washington Healthcare
Neonatology is the care of newborn infants who need special medical attention
due to conditions such as:
- Premature birth
- Intrauterine growth retardation
- Congenital malformations / birth defects
- Low birth weight
- Birth asphyxias
Patients and family members can take comfort in knowing that Mary Washington
Healthcare has two specially designed centers to take care of our most
fragile patients, allowing new mothers who face childbirth complications
to deliver their babies close to home, near family and friends.
MWH Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
Mary Washington Hospital has a state of the art Level III NICU at its hospital
in Fredericksburg. The NICU is a 17-bed facility offering innovative services,
including variations of ventilator support to infants in need, nitric
oxide therapies, and head cooling capabilities. The NICU supports all
gestations, multiples, and premature births of babies who may need special
Stafford Hospital Level II Nursery
Stafford Hospital’s Level II Nursery is equipped with the latest
neonatal technology to provide care for infants who are delivered at 34
weeks or later and weigh at least 4.4 pounds, or 2,000 grams. Typically,
these babies have no other complications, but just need time to gain weight
and grow strong. A dedicated Neonatal Transport Team is always available
to transport babies needing extra special attention to the Level III NICU
at Mary Washington Hospital just down the road.
Full time neonatologists and neonatal nurse practitioners from
Children's National Health System manage the care of babies in the NICU at Mary Washington Hospital. Dr.
Joshua Attridge, MD, the medical director of the NICU, and the team of
Children's National neonatologists are available on site to support
the NICU and Level II Nursery 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The partnership
with Children's National also connects Mary Washington to pediatric
subspecialties and provides collaborative research opportunities between
Mary Washington and Children's National.
Neonatal Nursing & Clinical Support
Specially trained neonatal nurses attend high-risk deliveries, cesarean
sections, and are available for any delivery complication. The nursing
and clinical support staff maintains a family-centered care approach.
Family members are encouraged to participate in their baby's care,
offered lactation support services, and have evidenced-based practices
such as the latest developmental therapies and Kangaroo Care—or
skin-to-skin therapy—accessible for their baby. Our teams also offer
Discharge-to-Home classes including CPR education.
Breastfeeding is one of the best things a new mother can do to help her
baby grow and develop. Most mothers can breastfeed successfully and we
are here to help. Before your baby arrives, we offer classes to help prepare
you for nursing. At the birthing centers at MWHC, our mother-baby nurses
are available to support you. We also have certified lactation consultants
to help you and your baby get off to a good start while you are in the
hospital. After you go home, lactation consultants are available by phone
daily to answer questions or schedule appointments. We offer a free Moms
& Babies group that meets weekly, led by a certified lactation consultant.
The Lactation Department may be reached by phone at 540.741.4465. You may
leave a message and someone can call you back within 12 hours, or you
can follow the prompts to reach a Health Link nurse anytime, day or night.
Most outpatient consultations are covered by insurance. Mothers who come
in for an appointment will need to register at the Patient Access department
prior to the visit.
We also provide NICU breastfeeding support. There is even more reason to
provide your own milk for, and eventually breastfeed, a premature or a
sick newborn. This lets you participate in your baby's healthcare
in a very crucial way. Because the benefits of mother's milk are so
important to the high-risk newborn, you are able to do something for your
baby that no one else can. Many neonatologists and NICU staff members
now encourage mothers to provide their own milk for high-risk babies,
even if those mothers do not intend to breastfeed later.
Mary Washington Healthcare has a specialized team that can transport neonates
to our NICU from other area hospitals. The team, led by a registered NICU
nurse, provides care en route in a specially designed ambulance to allow
for a smooth, safe, quiet ride. Neonatal transports are available 24 /
7 for babies less than 28 days old who weigh less than or up to 5 kilograms.
A transport crew consists of:
- Registered nurse (RN)
- Respiratory therapist
For more information on MWHCs Neonatal Transport Service, call 540.741.2772.