Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

(985) 898-4555
24 hours a day, 7 days a week

The St. Tammany Parish Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is a 15-bed, Level III unit with two board-certified neonatologists (specialized physicians that provide comprehensive care for critically ill premature and full term infants) and neonatal nurse practitioners on staff to provide continuous care for your new baby.


We understand the challenges of having a sick newborn and that it is a scary time for your family. Using a state-of-the-art system to monitor heart rate, respiratory status and vital signs, STPH is committed to providing specialized care to your baby.

The STPH NICU allows you to "Room In" just prior to discharge so you can feel confident to care for you new baby once home. The rooming-in room, which has an open visitation policy for parents and grandparents, is adjacent to the NICU. 

Babies may stay with us for just a few days, several weeks or sometimes even months. The end goal is to get you and your baby healthy and home as soon as possible.


VENTILATION

Our services include three methods:

  • High-frequency ventilation is a more gentle breathing aid that sends small, rapid puffs of air into an infant’s lungs. It is used instead of conventional ventilation, which sometimes needs high pressure and could damage your newborn's lungs. 
  • Inhaled nitric oxide is used to treat respiratory failure and high blood pressure in the lungs (pulmonary hypertension). Nitric oxide is given directly through a breathing tube into the windpipe and helps blood vessels in the lung open so they can carry oxygenated blood into the body. 
  • Conventional ventilation is used to give infants assisted support with breathing and oxygenation. Infants who may have Respiratory Distress Syndrome or Surfactant Deficiency may require conventional ventilation. 

CAR SEAT TESTING

The NICU staff will perform a car seat test on every infant born at 37 weeks or sooner. During the test, the premature baby is securely fastened into their own car seat, which is placed at the correct angle for riding in the car.

The infant is connected to an NICU monitor to measure his or her heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation and color for 60 minutes. If the or she fails the test, it will be repeated after a few days. If this test is failed for a second time, the neonatologist will discuss options for discharge.

 

CHILDHOOD IMMUNIZATIONS

Childhood immunizations are offered to infants who remain in the NICU for several months. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends infants are immunized with the Hepatitis B vaccine before discharge. If an infant’s length of stay is up to or beyond two months of age, 2-month immunizations will be offered.


PUMP AT THE BEDSIDE

STPH has International Board Certified Lactation Consultants on hand to assist you with breastfeeding, pumping, milk production, and equipment rentals and purchases. The NICU has breast pumps on wheels that can be moved to your baby’s bedside so you can pump while bonding with your infant. Breast pumping kits should be brought with you to pump at the bedside. Additional pumping supplies and parts are available for purchase in our Lactation Boutique.

For questions about pumping breast milk, breastfeeding, rental or the purchase of supplies call (985) 898-4536 to speak with one of our board-certified lactation consultants. 

 

SUPPORT

STPH chaplains are readily available from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to provide pastoral, spiritual and emotional support to families from diverse faith traditions and cultures. They are on call if your needs are at another time or during an emergency.

The hospital chapel is located just off the main lobby near the gift shop. Visitors of all faiths are welcome to visit the chapel for prayer and meditation.

Social workers can help you cope with the effects of your child's illness on your family.