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Pregnancy & Childbirth

Nursery & NICU

Virginia Hospital Center Neonatal Intensive Care Unit renamed as
The Marjorie Sands Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

When you deliver a healthy baby at Virginia Hospital Center, you may choose to have your newborn stay with you in your room—complete with daybed for your spouse, partner or other support person to stay over as you wish—or in the nursery. At those times when your son or daughter is in the nursery, he or she will be cared for by nursing professionals who administer medical care and tenderness in equal measure. It is completely at your discretion how frequently, and at what length, the baby stays in your room versus in the nursery.

Premature babies, those who become ill after birth or newborns with other special needs are cared for in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Classified as a Level III B NICU per the American Academy of Pediatrics, Virginia Hospital Center's facility offers private and semi-private accommodations, which allow parents to stay with their newborns even after mothers are discharged and ensure that babies' recovery and development are free of any unnecessary stimulation.

(L-R) NICU Staff: Jennifer Howes, RN; Michelle Sabol, PA; Dr. Helen Yoon; Dena Carey, NICU Patient Care Director; Dr. Brian Stone, NICU Medical Director; Gwen Edwards, PCA; Jami Guerrina, RN; Laura Elsey, RN.
Board-certified neonatologists, neonatal nurse practitioners and other highly qualified nurses and developmental specialists work collaboratively with parents to optimize the care these delicate patients receive.

Whether your newborn is in your room, the nursery or the NICU, you can rest assured that he or she is safe. An advanced security system that includes wristbands with radiofrequency identifiers, video surveillance, and secured doors - as well as vigilant staff monitoring - make certain that only the mother, the one person that she designates, or Registered Nurses (RN), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) and Patient Care Assistants (PCA) who have successfully completed the infant identification competency and are wearing special Virginia Hospital Center identification specific to that unit may remove a baby from the nursery, the NICU or a patient's room.

NICU Patient Success Story

Born Too Soon

Kyli Bechtold of Alexandria was 33 weeks pregnant when she slipped and fell in July 2014. Her OB/GYN, Mike Fernandez, MD, FACOG, Chief of Obstetrics/Gynecology, Virginia Hospital Center, recommended that she go to the Hospital for monitoring. Because of a subtle decrease in the baby’s heart rate, he decided to keep Kyli in the Hospital overnight.
At about 5:00 am, Kyli woke up to find her room filled with doctors, nurses, neonatologists and technicians. The baby was in distress. Her placenta had started to separate and the umbilical cord was wrapped around her baby’s neck. Born by emergency C-section, Caleb needed to be resuscitated and was immediately taken to the Hospital’s Level IIIB Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
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Virginia Hospital Center’s NICU is managed by the neonatology team of physicians from Children’s National Medical Center.

Children’s National Health System has been named to the prestigious Honor Roll of the U.S. News & World Report 2015-16 Best Children’s Hospitals, ranking among the top 10 pediatric hospitals in the nation. The Honor Roll features the “best of the best” hospitals for kids in the country. Additionally, Children’s National is the only pediatric hospital in the entire region of Maryland, DC, and Virginia to earn Honor Roll designation.

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