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 22, 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.

Dates/Times: The first Tuesday of each month from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Location: University of Iowa Health Care–Iowa River Landing 105 East 9th Street Lower Level Community Room Coralville, IA 52241

Patient Stories

  • Neonatologist cares for two generations of NICU babies

    Dr. Bell and Kyle Nelson holding Jaeden Nelson When Kyle Nelson's own newborn son needed emergency care, the 25-year-old Hillsboro, Iowa father knew where he wanted to go. He had no idea the trip would turn into a reunion. Read more
  • Parent Blog: Ashley Morarend

    Easton Morarend, photo "Everyone who works at the hospital is very welcoming and helpful. The hospital became my second home during those 64 days and I always felt comfortable and at home being there." Ashley Morarent Read more
  • Parent Blog: Matt Tison

    Clara Tison, photo "We're so thankful for the doctors and nurses who helped take care of Clara. I'd like to remind everybody that these doctors and nurses are emotionally vested in your child's care, as well. It's a team effort when hard decisions have to be made. The kind, empathetic, compassionate care we received is why we would choose to go back." Matt Tison Read more
  • Iowa girl thrives after ice-storm birth

    Dorotea Orgovani weighed just over a pound when born When Dorotea Orgovanyi was born at 26 weeks gestation in a small Iowa hospital in 2007, an ice storm prevented emergency transportation from moving her to a better-equipped facility. But it didn’t stop two University of Iowa doctors from heeding the call for help. Read more
  • Skylar Hardee

    Skylar Hardee, portrait During their 16-week ultrasound, Skylar’s parents were given a 1% chance of their baby surviving. Doctors found no amniotic fluid protecting Skylar in his mother’s uterus. His parents sought help at University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. Skylar was born prematurely at 32 weeks gestation and was diagnosed with VACTERL association, a congenital syndrome that results in abnormalities in various parts of the body. Read more

Locations and Contact

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

Care Team

Neonatologists

Neonatal Nurse Practitioners

Pediatric Nurse Practitioners