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Highest Level of Care Available for Neonates and Infants

Our board-certified neonatologists and full range of newborn care specialists provide expert NICU care at Valley Children’s Hospital, various NICU locations and inpatient clinical partners. We provide advanced NICU care for premature neonates, specialty medical and surgical care for all neonates, and neonatal care after surgery for a range of routine to complex conditions.

Importance of Level IV NICU Designation

Designated by California Children’s Services as a Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and recognized by the the American Academy of Pediatrics for neonates and infants as a Level IV NICU, Valley Children’s Hospital offers the highest level of care for the most vulnerable infants with congenital or acquired conditions. Our team has the most advanced surgical capabilities, including the surgical repair of serious congenital heart anomalies that requires cardiopulmonary bypass and/or ECMO for medical conditions.

In addition to advanced care, our team provides Intermediate Neonatal Intensive Care – providing neonatal care services for ill neonates who do not require intensive care but require care at a level higher than a well-baby nursery can provide. These infants may require intravenous medication, nasogastric tube feeding, parenteral nutrition, oxygen therapy and short-term ventilatory assistance.

NICU Transport

Dedicated to the safe transport of newborns, Valley Children’s Hospital's Medical Transport services cover all of the Hospital’s 45,000 square-mile service area and more. We have specialized experience in transporting neonatal and pediatric patients between hospitals.

We are essentially a mobile ICU. Valley Children's Medical Transport Teams perform over 1,200 transports annually, two-thirds neonatal and one-third medical.

Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)

ECMO is life-support intervention for infants and children with potentially reversible life-threatening conditions and less than a 20% chance of survival; generally, ECMO improves survival to about 50%. Valley Children’s ECMO survival rate is 71% since expanding services.

High Risk Infant Follow-Up Clinic

Our pediatric specialists provide expert follow-up care when young patients have been discharged from the NICU. Our goal is your goal – improved outcomes for long-term success.

Valley Children’s High Risk Infant Follow-up (HRIF) clinic is designed to watch for signs of delay and provide referrals and advice to help your baby’s development. The clinic also provides you with instruction and education. A referral to Valley Children’s Hospital’s HRIF Clinic will be made by your baby’s doctor when your baby is discharged from the NICU. Your baby will see a nurse specialist, occupational therapist or speech therapist, a social worker and a nurse practitioner. They will assess your baby’s language and physical development, along with sensory and social skills. You will be taught how to assist with your baby’s growth and development. They will also help you with any referrals and follow-up appointments that may be needed.

Family Support for NICU Patients

At Valley Children’s, we provide patient-centered care, knowing that family and caregiver support of medically fragile infants is crucial. Learn more about our family resources.


Our international board certified lactation consultants work collaboratively with the health care team to meet the lactation needs of our patients and their families.

For questions or support, please contact one of our lactation consultants at 559-353-5427.

Donor Milk Program

The donor milk program is offered to mothers who have difficulty In the event that their milk is not available. We use donor milk that is provided by Milk Banks that are members of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA), which adheres to the strict guidelines.

NICU Graduate Picnic

We hold a NICU Graduate picnic every year on the first Saturday of October from 10 am to 2 pm. We invite all of our NICU graduates and their families to join us for lunch, activities and fun. Watch for announcements about the picnic on our Valley Children’s Website, follow us on Instagram or like us on Facebook for information.