Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (Level II)
You’ll have piece of mind with the Level III NICU at our Issaquah campus. A Level II NICU can help babies born as early as 32 to 34 weeks, as well as newborns who need extra care.
If a baby born at Issaquah needs a higher level of care, our neonatal transport service is specially designed and equipped to transfer her to the First Hill Level IV NICU.
Some babies need extra care. Our goal is to support families and create a seamless transition home once a family is discharged. Here are some of the many resources we offer.
- Our team of social workers help connect families to resources for financial assistance, lodging, counseling, or other support.
- Swedish Center for Perinatal Bonding and Support has a wealth of resources for new moms, from mother’s groups and counseling to classes and lactation help.
- Connect families with local and national organizations, such as March of Dimes.
- Swedish has chaplains who provide non-denominational spiritual support to families no matter the situation.
- Child life specialists work with kids and adolescents to help them cope with an overwhelming or stressful situation. Our team helps older siblings understand and process what’s happening with their baby brother or sister.
- The nursing staff continuously assess the needs of each family and support them in any way possible. Nurses also coordinate care with other teams and help connect families to the right resources.
- Sometimes babies don’t respond well to aggressive treatment and need complete support for the length of their life, however long that may be. Palliative care provides extra care to comfort this group of medically fragile patients and their families.
Please let us know if we can support you in any way, big or small, that’s not listed above.
Babies who have trouble breathing, due to prematurity or a complication, can get help in a NICU. And babies who are born with an illness or condition that requires medication, monitoring, or surgery will receive the extra care they need in a neonatal intensive care unit.
Each case is different, and the answer can range from several hours to several weeks. Generally, the more prematurely a baby is born, or the more serious the illness, the longer their stay in a NICU. A baby may be moved to a different level of NICU depending on progress. Once a baby is showing they can breathe on their own, regulate body temperature, gain weight and be fed by breast or bottle, they should be ready to go home.
Parents are welcome to be with their babies in the NICU at any time; in fact, we encourage visits. As your baby gets stronger, you’ll be able to hold and help feed them. Talk to your doctor or midwife about pumping and storing breast milk if your baby is not yet able to breastfeed. All visitors to the NICU should be free of any illness or infection and wash their hands thoroughly.
We know moms and dads want to be as close as possible to their baby, so Swedish has sleep rooms available for parents during their baby’s NICU stay. When your baby no longer needs NICU care, we also have rooms where parents and babies stay together, to help the family get ready to leave the hospital and head home.