Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
Experience when it matters most
Welcoming your new baby into the world is an exciting time, but sometimes unexpected circumstances occur and extra care is necessary. Allen's Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is for babies who need special medical attention after they are born, and sometimes, may have to stay a few days longer after mom goes home.
Our specially trained team will explain the intensive care routine and procedures to you, keep you informed of your baby's condition and answer the many questions you may have. We serve the Cedar Valley region and other surrounding hospitals transfer moms and their babies to Allen Hospital when they need specialized care.
Family Centered, Supportive Care
We believe the best way to care for your baby is to make the family part of the health care team.
- A developmental care team provides your baby developmentally appropriate care which significantly improves neonatal outcomes
- Our neonatologists provide outpatient consults for high-risk pregnancies
- Three private suites are individualized for each baby to promote faster healing and growth
- As a parent, you are encouraged to be involved in your baby's care throughout the NICU stay
- You are encouraged to stay in the NICU room so you can remain close to your baby
- Weekly family rounds with the NICU team, which includes the physician, registered nurse, lactation consultant and social worker
Why Allen is a Strong Choice
24/7 neonatologist/NNP coverage
We cared for 125 babies in 2018
We can care for babies born at 30+ weeks gestation
Private NICU rooms for baby and family
NICU transport team (affiliation with UnityPoint Health – St. Luke's)
Use of evidence based medical treatments and therapies (probiotics, bubble CPAP, kangaroo care, volume guarantee mode of ventilation)
We designed our NICU suites at Allen to help premature babies grow and develop. The quiet, low-light environment accelerates growth and development at a physiological rate. This revolutionary NICU design has gained attention from healthcare institutions around the world.
Our carpeted NICU suites and bathrooms are located in a separate area to reduce noise which in turn benefits growth and development of our patients. It is this attention to detail that makes a difference for premature babies at Allen.
- We tailor temperature, sound and light individually to each NICU baby's needs and adjust these elements as the baby progresses
- High-tech equipment meets premature babies needs while allowing privacy to family members
- Private bathrooms and showers
- Family accommodations promote bonding
NICU Follow-Up Care
Our High Risk Infant follow-up program is designed just for NICU babies. Each visit provides an opportunity to discuss your concerns.
- Our follow-up team includes the neonatologist and pediatric nurse.
- Physical exams and developmental screening tests evaluate your child's physical and developmental progress.
- Visits are typically scheduled when babies are two, four, nine, 18 and 30 months of age.
In the event of a delay in growth or development, early intervention and referrals are made to area services such as physical therapy, occupational therapy as needed. Since children grow and develop at different rates, it is important to note that an isolated delay does not always mean a child has a long-term problem.
Your baby's well-being is our highest priority. We know while your baby is in our NICU it is a stressful time for you and your family. Please share your questions and concerns with us. We will do whatever we can to assist you.
Collaboration with St. Luke's NICU in Cedar Rapids
We strive toward family centered care and our relationship with St. Luke's NICU keeps families together and closer to home.
As part of UnityPoint Health, Allen's NICU has a strong working relationship with St. Luke's NICU, the only Level III NICU in the Cedar Rapids area. Infants born less than 30 weeks of gestation and patients needing higher level of care are safely transferred to the NICU at St. Luke's, only 60 miles from Waterloo, and sent back to Allen Hospital once the clinical condition of the baby improves.
When critical care is needed, nothing replaces speed of care, expertise and experience.
Our affiliation with the UnityPoint Health – St. Luke's NICU in Cedar Rapids means babies are sometimes transferred to St. Luke's from Allen with our neonatal transport team, which uses a high-frequency portable ventilator aboard Lifeguard air ambulance.
- The St. Luke's Neonatal Transport Team consists of registered nurses and respiratory therapists who are specially trained in the management and transport of critically ill or premature newborns.
- St. Luke's high-frequency ventilation uses very rapid rates of breathing, very often at four to five hundred times a minute, to allow infants to breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide when other more conventional forms of ventilation are inadequate. The ventilator vastly improves the outcomes of critically ill infants.
- First in the Midwest to provide both air and ground transport using the high-frequency ventilator, St. Luke's transport teams is one of only a few transport teams in the entire country who provide this service.