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Neonatology & Newborn Services at Mary Washington Healthcare

Mary Washington Healthcare is a proud partner with Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., ranked No. 7 nationally and No. 1 for newborn care for the fifth year in a row by U.S. News & World Report Best Children’s Hospital Survey. Expert physicians from Children’s National work every single day to provide personalized care to our most vulnerable patients. Patients and family members can take comfort in knowing that Mary Washington Healthcare has two specially designed centers to take care of our smallest patients, allowing new mothers to deliver their babies close to home, near family and friends.

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Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Mary Washington Hospital

Mary Washington Hospital (MWH) has the region's most experienced Level III, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The 17-bed NICU admits approximately 350 babies per year and provides care for newborn infants as small as one pound. Neonatology is the subspecialty of pediatrics which involves the medical care of newborn infants with prematurity, intrauterine growth restruction/low birth weight, congenital malformations/birth defects, problems with breathing, infections, or birth asphyxia.

The NICU at Mary Washington Hospital is staffed by board-certified neonatologists from Children’s National Hospital, ranked No. 1 in newborn care for the fifth year in a row by U.S. News & World Report. The team of Children's National neonatologists, led by medical director Dr. Joshua Attridge, are available on site to support the NICU 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The partnership with Children's National also connects MWH to pediatric subspecialties and provides collaborative research opportunities between MWH and Children's National.

In addition to our neonatologists, we have a highly specialized team that includes neonatal nurse practitioners, registered nurses, respiratory therapists, physical and occupational therapists, case managers, dietitians and lactation consultants. The NICU at Mary Washington Hospital provides a world class level of care to mothers and their babies in our community and allows these families to be close to their homes, near extended family and support systems.

Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Stafford Hospital

Stafford Hospital has a 6-bed, Level II NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). It is equipped with the latest neonatal technology to provide care for infants who are delivered at 33 weeks or later and weigh at least 3.3 pounds, or 1500 grams.

The NICU team can provide care for newborns that need extra medical attention but aren’t sick enough to need critical care. This includes babies born a few weeks early as well as those with intrauterine growth restriction/lower than average birth weight, feeding difficulties, infections, and mild breathing problems.

A dedicated Neonatal Transport Team is always available to transport babies needing a higher level of care to the Level III NICU at Mary Washington Hospital or the Level IV NICU at Children’s National.

The Level II NICU at Stafford is staffed by board-certified physicians from Children's National. The team of Children’s National pediatric hospitalists, led by medical director Dr. Allison Markowsky, are available on site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The team at Stafford also includes registered nurses, respiratory therapists and lactation consultants with specialty training in newborn care.

Neonatal Nursing & Clinical Support

Specially trained neonatal nurses attend high-risk deliveries and cesarean sections, and are available for any delivery complication. The nursing and clinical support staff maintains a family-centered care approach. The team encourages family members to participate in their baby's care, offers lactation support services, and provides evidenced-based practices such as the latest developmental therapies and Kangaroo Care-or skin-to-skin therapy-to their baby.

NICU Breastfeeding Support

Our certified lactation consultants are here to provide breastfeeding support to you and your premature or 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.

Neonatal Transport Team

The NICU at Mary Washington Hospital has a Neonatal Transport Team that provides ground ambulance transportation for infants less than or equal to 28 days old. Transports completed by the team allow for babies born at local hospitals without a Level III NICU a local NICU option for care.

The team provides high-quality care by safely transporting newborns from referring hospitals to the specialized care in the MWH NICU. In addition, the scope of service also includes transport of neonatal patients from MWH to another facility (approved by the NICU medical director or designee) in those rare incidents no other outside facility transport is available.

The transport team consists of the following clinical staff:

  • Registered nurse (RN)
  • Respiratory therapist (RT)
  • Paramedic
  • Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)

For more information on MWHC's Neonatal Transport Service, call 540.741.2772.

Newborn Nursery and Lactation Services

Newborn Nursery

For healthy babies born at Mary Washington or Stafford Hospitals, our Newborn Nursery provides routine care and services such as post-birth bathing, blood sugar monitoring, vaccine administration, and circumcision recovery. Our highly skilled and compassionate nurses will provide necessary services to your baby, then return your baby to stay with you in your room.

Lactation Services

Certified lactation consultants are available daily to provide personalized breastfeeding support while you and your baby are patients at Mary Washington or Stafford Hospital. If you need additional breastfeeding support after you and your baby return home, our certified lactation consultants are available for phone or in-person consultations. Contact the Lactation Services Department at 540.741.4465 (for Mary Washington Hospital) or 540.741.9236 (for Stafford Hospital). Before baby arrives, we recommend you take our free Breastfeeding Essentials class to help you feel more confident as you start this journey. We have also condensed the class into a few short videos for tips on a great breastfeeding experience.

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