Neonatal Care

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Neonatal care for children with congenital anomalies starts when your baby’s condition is diagnosed, whether while you’re pregnant or shortly after birth.

Physicians with Norton Children’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine, part of the Norton Women’s Care team, and the physicians from across the Norton Children’s network provide comprehensive prenatal and neonatal care. The maternal-fetal medicine team works closely with specialists in fetal cardiology and congenital heart disease; urology; general surgery; gastroenterology; endocrinology; neuroscience; orthopedics; and pulmonology.

They’ll support you and your family through your pregnancy, delivery, after birth and as your child grows.

Norton Children’s has a fetal board, a panel of specialists with expertise in obstetrics, maternal-fetal medicine, neonatology, pediatrics and pediatric cardiology that meets to plan for complex deliveries and follow-up care.

Many congenital conditions can be diagnosed while you are pregnant. Ultrasound and genetic testing are two of the most common methods for identifying conditions that will require special care once your baby is born.

For babies who have been diagnosed with an anomaly during pregnancy and will need some level of lifesaving care at or after birth, maternal-fetal medicine specialists work closely with surgeons and neonatologists to prepare for baby’s arrival.

Congenital heart anomalies and neural tube disorders such as spina bifida are among the most common conditions that need intervention shortly after birth.

Additional congenital conditions that may require neonatal care include:

  • Genitourinary anomalies
  • Neurologic conditions
  • Gastrointestinal conditions
    • Gastroschisis
    • Omphalocele
    • Duodenal atresia
  • Pulmonary disorders
    • Congenital pulmonary airways malformation (CPAM)
    • Congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation (CCAM)
  • Airway obstructive tracheoesophageal (TE) fistula

In the most complex cases, your delivery at Norton Hospital, which is connected to Norton Children’s Hospital by a pedway, will be coordinated with your baby’s neonatal care team. The proximity means mom and baby can get the care they need, without concerns about transportation once the baby is born.

Norton Children’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine patients can deliver with their regular obstetrician at Norton Hospital, and the baby will be wheeled across to Norton Children’s Hospital for care. Patients also can deliver at Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital in St. Matthews with coordinated delivery and neonatal care.

Sometimes, mothers can deliver at their home hospital with their obstetrician; then the Norton Children’s Hospital “Just for Kids” Transport Team takes your baby to Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville, where there is a top-level neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Intensive Care

Norton Children’s has two NICUs — the Level IV facility at Norton Children’s Hospital and a Level III NICU at Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital. Both provide the same quality care, with the downtown NICU designated the higher level because of its ability to handle the most complex cases.

Babies who need continued monitoring may be referred to a Norton Children’s Neonatal Follow-up Clinic after they leave the NICU. Your first visit to the clinic will be two to four weeks after leaving the NICU. Depending on your baby’s health and development, your baby may be seen in the clinic every one to four months.

Neonatal follow-up clinics are located in downtown Louisville, St. Matthews, Bowling Green, Owensboro and Paducah.

The Jennifer Lawrence Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Norton Children’s Hospital has a cardiac intensive care doctor present 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The unit specializes in caring for babies and other pediatric patients recovering from open heart surgery, heart transplants and other procedures.

Multidisciplinary Clinics

For children who need continuing care as they grow, Norton Children’s specialists practice in multidisciplinary clinics for many of the most complex congenital conditions. Combining teams of heart, neuroscience, orthopedics and other specialists in one place allows for closer collaboration. Families also can schedule multiple appointments for the same day, reducing the need for travel.

Specialized multidisciplinary clinics include:

How We’ll Care for Your Complex Pregnancy, Delivery and Newborn

  • Our team of more than 10 fellowship-trained, board-certified and highly experienced maternal-fetal medicine physicians means easier access to expertise for your complex pregnancy.
  • Two dedicated patient navigators who are registered nurses provide one-on-one support and guide you through your pregnancy care, including coordinating appointments for those traveling from outside Louisville.
  • Maternal-fetal medicine offices in Louisville, St. Mathews, Bowling Green, Elizabethtown and Paducah all provide the same level of specialized care.
  • Deliver down the hall from the Norton Children’s Hospital Level IV neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) — the highest rated in Louisville and Southern Indiana — or the Level III NICU at Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital.
  • If your baby will need specialized care after birth, we’ll convene all the specialists who could have insight to your baby’s condition to prepare. Experienced physicians from across Norton Children’s will review your baby’s development and put in place a plan to provide the best possible care.
  • Depending on your condition, you may deliver at your home hospital; if necessary, the Norton Children’s Hospital  “Just for Kids” Transport Team will bring your baby to a Norton Children’s NICU in Louisville.
  • You can keep your OB/GYN for your delivery while getting the expertise of the maternal-fetal medicine team caring for your health and the health of your baby or multiples.
  • Medicaid and most commercial insurance plans are accepted.
  • Communicate with your medical provider, manage appointments and get alerts if an earlier appointment becomes available through your free Norton MyChart account.

Reviewed by Whitney E. Jamie, M.D.,  maternal-fetal medicine physician with Norton Children’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine, part of Norton Women’s Care.  

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