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About the Renée Schine Crown NICU at Rush University Medical Center
Rush University Medical Center’s Family Birth Center delivers more than 2,300 babies each year, including around 150 infants who are considered very low birth weight—less than 1,500 grams (3 pounds, 5 ounces).
Whether your baby’s NICU stay is expected or a surprise, we will provide you and your baby with compassionate, family-centered care.
- Highest level of care: The Renée Schine Crown Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is a level IV, the highest level of care for babies in need. We provide advanced care for newborns ranging from extremely preterm to those with complex surgical needs.
- Parent and infant support: The most important factor in your baby’s outcome is you. That’s why we provide holistic services to support your mental health and your baby’s development. These include dedicated child life specialists, social workers, psychologists, chaplains, bereavement services and peer counselors.
- Team approach to care: Advanced technology and expert providers, including neonatologists and specially trained NICU nurses, monitor and treat your baby 24 hours a day. Critical care nurses, board-certified neonatologists, respiratory therapists and pharmacists are present 24 hours a day. Neonatal dieticians closely monitor your infant’s growth and nutritional needs. And our social workers and discharge planners help to coordinate your family’s needs both during and after the NICU stay.
- Next door to labor and delivery: Located within our Family Birth Center, our NICU is next door to our delivery and operating rooms. When seconds matter most, your baby can receive immediate care from our team of experts. Our postpartum recovery rooms are also nearby so you can conveniently visit your baby at any time.
- Private rooms: Our NICU offers private rooms and a calm environment. Private rooms allow your baby to have individualized lighting, reduced exposure to sounds, and reduced risk of infections. They also offer privacy for you to care for your baby how you wish—to pump or breastfeed, sing and/or read to your baby. One parent is allowed to sleep through the night at your baby’s bedside.
- Supporting breastfeeding: Research shows the benefits of breast milk to help small and vulnerable babies grow. At Rush University Medical Center, our nursing staff and lactation consultants will assist you with breastfeeding, including pumping so you can provide breast milk for your baby until they are strong enough to latch.
Named a Baby-Friendly Birth Center
Rush University Medical Center is a Baby-Friendly Designated birth center — a designation that honors hospitals that provide a high level of care, support and education to breastfeeding mothers.
In addition to the above services, the NICU in Chicago offers a comprehensive range of advanced neonatal therapies, including the following:
- Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO): ECMO (also referred to as a heart-lung bypass) uses a machine to temporarily do the work of your child's heart and/or lungs. ECMO allows the heart and/or lungs to heal when your baby is fighting an underlying heart or lung condition.
- Neonatal transport: If your baby was not born at Rush, our neonatal transport team of critical care providers, respiratory therapists and NICU nurses can safely and quickly transport your infant to our NICU. We will work with your obstetrician, so you are able to join your baby as soon as possible.
- Whole-body cooling (therapeutic hypothermia): For newborns with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), we use whole-body cooling. HIE is a condition that can occur if your baby’s brain does not receive enough oxygen in the first few hours of life. Therapeutic hypothermia lowers your baby’s body temperature for the first 72 hours of life to give your baby’s cells more time to heal.
- Neonatal high-risk follow-up: Some infants in the NICU will receive follow-up care for their first two years to monitor their growth and development. We follow all infants who are born weighing less than 3 pounds 5 ounces; whose gestational age is less than 30 weeks; and full-term infants with complex congenital heart disease and/or treatment with ECMO or therapeutic hypothermia.