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Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in HSHS St. John's Children’s Hospital provides care to premature babies and other seriously ill infants throughout south-central Illinois.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit room

Video tour of our NICU

Tour the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and learn more about its innovative features and accommodating designs.

Innovative features of our newly renovated unit include:

  • Single family rooms where parents can stay overnight.
  • Expanded rooms that allow NICU twins and their families to stay together.
  • A milk lab where infant feeding technicians will prepare individualized human milk and formula feedings that promote optimal nutrition and growth.
  • Family respite lounge and serenity rooms provide places to rest outside the patient rooms.

The NICU also offers couplet care which enables mom and her NICU baby to heal in the same space should the baby need a higher level of care. St. John’s is one of only a few hospitals and medical centers in the United States to offer this innovative concept.

As the area's only level III NICU, our expert care teams of neonatologists, nurse practitioners, RNs and respiratory therapists are specially trained to work with our smallest patients. Our team also includes pharmacists, dietitians, lactation specialists, pediatric rehabilitation therapists, social workers and spiritual care staff members.


New mom with baby in her arms giving him a kiss

Beyond the NICU

Beyond the NICU is a pre-term infant home care nursing program to help premature babies and their families make a smooth transition from the hospital to home in both the Springfield and Decatur areas. A specially trained nurse meets with eligible parents in the hospital before discharge and then visits the home regularly for the next 18 months to monitor the child’s health and development, assist with resource needs, such as child care, food and diapers, and help coordinate follow-up care with doctors, nurses and other health care professionals. 

New mom with baby sitting with nurse

NICU follow-up and developmental continuity clinics

These are free, developmental clinics for NICU graduates. St. John's staff members monitor the development of these children for three years to look for delays in development (language, social skills, intellect and fine and gross motor skills). If there are concerns, NICU staff members refer parents to services that can help the child be his or her best.

NICU graduate program

The NICU Graduate Program is a medical follow-up clinic for infants who had a complicated course of treatment while in the NICU and may require oxygen, tracheostomy tubes, feeding tubes or other special equipment at home.

Children coming to the NICU Graduate Program can expect to see a neonatologist, a registered nurse and a registered dietitian. This clinic is free of charge.