The Newborn Intensive Care Unit at Rapides Women's and Children's Hospital is honored to assist you and your newborn following delivery, if needed. Our Level 3 NICU is staffed by an experienced, multidisciplinary team that includes:

  • 24-hour Neonatologist coverage
  • 24 hour in-house Neonatal Nurse Practitioner coverage
  • Highly-trained Neonatal Nurses
  • Respiratory Therapists
  • Dietitian
  • Speech and Language Pathologists/Occupational Therapists for feeding and swallowing therapy
  • Social Worker
  • Pharmacist
  • Lactation Consultants

Together, this team provides leading-edge technology to care for pre-term and critically-ill newborns. Prior to the delivery of a high-risk infant, our NICU team works with the obstetric team to provide family consultations.

Our Goal

The NICU at Rapides Women's and Children's Hospital is focused on providing exceptional medical care that is developmentally and family oriented. We encourage parents to be part of the developmental support team by providing special touches and voices through kangaroo holding, reading and speaking to their newborn.

Care Offered

Rapides Women's and Children's NICU team cares for newborns with conditions such as:

  • Premature infants (less than 36 weeks gestation)
  • Low birth weight infants (less than 4.5 pounds)
  • Infections following birth: bacterial (such as Group B Strep, Herpes or Syphilis)
  • Respiratory difficulties
  • Blood sugar abnormalities (too low or too high)
  • Jaundice
  • Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (neonatal withdrawal)
  • Unexpected neonatal complications during labor and delivery

We offer specialized care which may include:

  • Conventional ventilator (to assist the baby's breathing)
  • High frequency ventilator (to assist the baby's breathing with a specialized ventilator)
  • Inhaled Nitric Oxide (to stabilize the baby's oxygenation in critically ill newborns)
  • Therapeutic Hypothermia (to provide whole body cooling to minimize brain injury)
  • Subspecialty coverage (from local subspecialists or via tele-health)

Breast Milk in the NICU

Breast milk is encouraged for babies in the NICU. We provide lactation support to our moms. We also have a program available to provide donor expressed breast milk for premature babies if mom is unable to provide breast milk and agrees.

Newborn Transport Team

Newborn Transport Team is available to support Level 1 nurseries in the area for unexpected preterm deliveries or newborns who are ill. We provide transport via ambulance in a specialized transport incubator/isolette. The team consists of a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner and a Respiratory Therapist. A Neonatal Nurse may accompany the team as needed. For a transport need, please call 318-769-7762.