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Caring for Newborns with Neonatology Services at Mary Washington Healthcare

Mary Washington Healthcare proudly collaborates with Children's National Hospital of Washington, D.C, ranked No. 5 nationally and No. 1 for neonatology in the Mid-Atlantic region by U.S. News & World Report Best Children’s Hospital Survey. The skilled physicians from Children's National are dedicated to delivering personalized care to our most delicate patients daily. Families can take comfort in the fact that Mary Washington Healthcare boasts two dedicated centers tailored to the needs of our tiniest patients. This ensures that new mothers can give birth in a familiar environment, close to loved ones and friends.

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

Mary Washington Hospital (MWH) houses the most experienced Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in the region. With 17 beds, our NICU attends to approximately 350 babies annually, providing vital support to newborns as tiny as one pound. Neonatology, a specialized branch of pediatrics, focuses on the medical care of newborns with conditions such as prematurity, low birth weight, birth defects, breathing difficulties, infections, and birth-related challenges.

Our NICU at Mary Washington Hospital is under the care of board-certified neonatologists from Children’s National Hospital, a top-ranking facility recognized as No. 1 in neonatology in the Mid-Atlantic region by U.S. News & World Report. Led by Dr. Aslan Arshad, our dedicated team of Children's National neonatologists is available on-site 24/7 to provide unwavering support. This partnership extends beyond medical care, connecting MWH with pediatric subspecialties and fostering collaborative research opportunities.

Complementing 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. Mary Washington Hospital's NICU offers world-class care to mothers and their babies in our community, ensuring families are close to home and their support networks.

A “Level III NICU designation” means we...

  • Provide continuous life support and comprehensive care for infants born at less than 32 weeks gestation and weighing less than 3.3 pounds
  • Provide mechanical ventilation for babies who cannot breathe on their own
  • Monitor and treat retinopathy of prematurity, an eye condition that can lead to blindness
  • Perform minor surgical procedures
  • Are staffed with neonatologists, respiratory therapists, registered nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, lactation consultants, social workers, chaplains, and more

Advanced Care in Stafford Hospital's Level II NICU)

At Stafford Hospital, we have a Level II NICU with six beds, fully equipped with state-of-the-art neonatal technology. This unit is designed to provide specialized care for infants born at 32 weeks or later, weighing a minimum of 3.3 pounds (1500 grams).

Our NICU team excels at caring for newborns who require additional medical attention without necessitating critical care. This encompasses infants born a few weeks before their due date and those facing challenges like intrauterine growth restriction, lower birth weight, feeding difficulties, mild breathing issues, and infections.

To ensure comprehensive care, we have a dedicated Neonatal Transport Team ready to transfer babies requiring advanced care to either the Level III NICU at Mary Washington Hospital or the Level IV NICU at Children’s National.

Staffed by board-certified physicians from Children's National, our Level II NICU at Stafford is supported by the team of Children’s National pediatric hospitalists, led by medical director Dr. Lana Ismail. This team is accessible on-site round the clock. Additionally, our Stafford team comprises registered nurses, respiratory therapists, and lactation consultants with specialized training in newborn care.

Our specially trained neonatal nurses attend high-risk deliveries and cesarean sections and are available for any delivery complication.

Supporting Breastfeeding in the NICU

Our certified lactation consultants are readily available to offer essential breastfeeding assistance for both you and your premature or ill newborn. This empowers you to play a pivotal role in your baby's healthcare during a critical period. Recognizing the immense value of mother's milk for high-risk infants, you have the unique ability to provide something vital for your baby that no one else can. It's noteworthy that numerous neonatologists and NICU team members now advocate for mothers to supply their own milk for high-risk infants, regardless of their future breastfeeding plans.

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