The newborn intensive care unit (NICU)

NICU stands for newborn intensive care unit. This is a nursery in a hospital that provides around-the-clock care to sick or premature babies. It has health care providers who have special training and equipment to give your baby the best possible care.

Find out about levels of medical care that NICUs provide and what level your baby needs. Learn about equipment that your baby may need and what you can do to be involved in your baby’s care. You can hold and feed your baby and use kangaroo care to get close to him, even in the NICU.

You may feel scared and confused about your baby’s condition. It’s OK to feel like you do. Learn about resources and support that can help you and your family while your baby’s in the NICU. Visit Share Your Story®, the March of Dimes online community for families to share experiences with prematurity, birth defects or loss.