Premature and High Risk Babies

Neonatology refers to the care of preemies or babies who are very sick due to low birth weight, birth defects, heart trouble, lung problems, or other life-threatening conditions. University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital is home to a Level 4 NICU—the highest level recognized by the American Academy of Pediatrics. This means that our NICU is equipped to care for the tiniest and most critically ill babies, offering the greatest range of neonatal services and support. In fact, we care for more complex conditions than any other NICU in Iowa. 

Our survival rates for babies born at 23, 24, and 25 weeks are significantly higher than survival rates for extremely premature babies born at other U.S. hospitals, placing UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital among the top neonatal intensive care providers anywhere.

Few parents consider the possibility that their baby might need special medical care after birth. Even fewer think about which neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) might care for their baby.

Why Choose Us

With one of the nation's best survival rates for premature infants, the questions we're asking today will help us deliver even better answers tomorrow. One more reason we’re the only nationally ranked neonatology program in Iowa.

15 Questions You Should Ask about Neonatal Intensive Care Units

One out of nine mothers do not carry to full term (37 or more weeks), and roughly 100,000 babies end up in a NICU each year. We hope that your pregnancy and delivery go smoothly, but if the unexpected should occur, here are 15 important questions you need to ask.

Ways to Give

Mother's Milk Bank of Iowa provides donated human milk to premature and full-term infants in Iowa. Babies receiving donated milk include hospitalized premature infants, infants born with immunological defects, adopted infants, and babies whose mothers produce an insufficient amount of breast milk or have an illness requiring a brief cessation of breastfeeding.

Other Resources for Parents

  • Newborn Channel: Information for parents about caring for their baby in the NICU and at home
    (NOTE: Hospital Password: 02826)
  • Your NICU Baby: Information for parents about what to expect when your baby is in the NICU
    (NOTE: Hospital Password: 02826)

Health Professionals

Support Groups

Breastfeeding Support Group

Join us at our Breastfeeding Support Group to learn more about breastfeeding and have your questions answered. Led by a board certified lactation consultant, you'll problem solve with an expert and meet other moms. The support group is free of charge.

When: Every Wednesday evening from 5 to 7 p.m.

Where: Iowa River Landing, Lower Level Room #0301 105 E. 9th Street Coralville, IA

For more information, email .

Patient Stories

  • Parent Blog: Tara Von Ahsen

    Nolan Von Ahsen, photo "This hospital is more than just a place to go when one is sick. It's a place to go with the most caring, loving, understanding staff I have ever met." – Tara Von Ahsen Read more
  • Parent Blog: Katelyn Kelch

    McKinley Kelch, photo "We knew we were right where we were supposed to be and that UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital was the best place for us." – Katelyn Kelch Read more
  • Parent Blog: Brad Dudley

    Ryne Dudley, photo "The friendliness of the staff and the genuine care for our son made our 97-day stay as good as it could be. We wouldn't have traded it for anywhere - or anyone - else." – Brad Read more
  • Parent Blog: Kimberly Peper

    Alisa Peper, photo Our daughter, Alisa, had a duodenal atresia, which is a bowel obstruction, before she was born. Read more
  • Celebrating our NICU nursing team

    NICU baby and nurse, photo "Our daughters were born 17 weeks premature. Although we've had a roller coaster of ups and downs, the one thing that's been amazing is the nursing staff." Read more

Locations and Contact

  • UI Stead Family Children's Hospital
    200 Hawkins Drive
    Iowa City, Iowa 52242
    In House Directions: Level 6
    • 1-888-573-5437 (888 573 KIDS)
  • UI Stead Family Children's Hospital
    200 Hawkins Drive
    Iowa City, Iowa 52242
    In House Directions: Elevator I, Level 6
    • 1-888-573-5437 (888 573 KIDS)
  • Quad Cities location
    1236 E. Rusholme Street
    Davenport, Iowa 52803
    • 1-563-421-3980

Care Team


Neonatal Nurse Practitioners

Pediatric Nurse Practitioners