Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
If your newborn requires highly specialized medical care, there is no need to travel far. Reading Hospital's 30-bed neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is the only Level 3 facility in Berks County, providing the highest level of neonatal care to infants with newborn health issues, including:
- Heart and lung disease
- Congenital anomalies
- Brain injuries
- Drug and alcohol addiction
Compassionate Care You Can Trust
Our compassionate and highly trained medical team maintains a caring and supportive environment for baby and families. We work closely with parents to keep them informed and involved in their newborn's recovery.
Our NICU is the only one in the area with our NICView webcam system, allowing parents to keep constant watch over their children through streaming web-based video.
As the leading neonatal care unit in the region, we offer unique access to advanced treatments and services. Ours is the only center in Berks County able to provide total body cooling, also known as therapeutic hypothermia, to infants with brain injuries.
We administer advanced respiratory support to infants with complicated respiratory disease using high-frequency ventilation. For infants suffering from severe lung disease, the NICU staff is trained in lifesaving nitric oxide therapy.
Visiting the NICU
We welcome visits from family members. Parents may visit at any time. Other family members and friends age 12 and older may visit between 1 and 8 p.m. daily.
Our kangaroo care program allows parents to hold their babies, providing important skin-to-skin contact. Even when they are not physically present, family members can continue to monitor their newborns through our NICView webcam, the only one of its kind in the region. Most infants are discharged near their due date.
Parents and families receive additional support through a range of educational, health, and wellness services.
- Breastfeeding and lactation support services
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- Massage therapy
- Parent support groups
- Cuddlers: hospital volunteers who provide comfort to infants
If you have questions or would like more information, call 484-628-8843.
Neonatal Development Follow-up Clinic
Care for your child does not end with discharge from the NICU. A multidisciplinary team of neonatologists, nurses, physical therapists, and nutritionists follows preterm infants and infants with special needs for the first two years of their lives. They check infants every three to four months in the neonatal follow-up clinic and send status updates to the child's pediatrician.
This ongoing monitoring helps to optimize each child's neurodevelopment and growth.
Bayley Developmental Test
All preterm infants born at 32 weeks or less are eligible to have a Bayley Developmental Test performed at 18-24 months corrected age (the age the child would be if born on his/her due date).
A physical therapist or occupational therapist performs the test, which is designed to see how your infant is developing compared to his or her peers. A report is then shared with the child's pediatrician.
About the NICU Team
Our expert team includes five fellowship-trained, board-certified neonatologists, two certified neonatal nurse practitioners, one physician assistant, and highly skilled nursing, respiratory, physical therapy, and lactation professionals. All the nurses in our NICU are registered nurses, and more than 40 percent are certified in high-risk Neonatal Intensive Care.
We work closely with the subspecialists at our affiliate, St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. Patients can see cardiology, neurology, and pulmonology subspecialists at the StChris Care Offices in Reading Hospital's Doctor's Office Building.