Neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) in Austin and Central Texas

Advanced care for ill or premature infants is available at our NICUs. These special nurseries are designed to provide stabilizing care for your child in the event of a high-risk pregnancy or complication. Board-certified neonatologists and a wide range of neonatal experts are available 24/7, ensuring we are always ready to treat babies who need special attention.

For more information about our NICUs, call the St. David’s Help Center at (888) 868-2104.

NICU levels

NICUs range from Level I to Level IV. Rankings are determined by several factors, from the age of babies treated (e.g., early term, late preterm or very preterm babies) to the type of training and outreach provided. All units feature advanced technology and offer stabilizing care for newborns.

NICUs at our hospitals

Whether your baby needs a little or a lot of extra help, we provide the care they need at our NICUs. These services are available at:

  • St. David’s Georgetown Medical Center (Level I NICU)
  • St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center (Level II NICU)
  • St. David’s South Austin Medical Center (Level II NICU)
  • St. David’s Women’s Center of Texas (Level III NICU)
  • St. David’s Medical Center (Level IV NICU)

NICU Levels

  • Level I: Regular nursery care available at most hospitals that deliver babies.
  • Level II: Intensive care for sick and premature infants.
  • Level III:Comprehensive care for more seriously ill newborns.
  • Level IV: Major surgery, surgical repair of serious congenital heart and anomalies that require cardiopulmonary bypass and/or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) for medical conditions. Level IV units include the capabilities of level III with additional capabilities and considerable experience in the care of the most complex and critically ill newborn infants and should have pediatric medical and pediatric surgical specialty consultants continuously available 24 hours a day.

NICU nurses and team members

Every St. David's NICU has a trained medical team ready to provide support, medical treatment and developmental care. Neonatal specialists at our hospitals include:

  • Case managers
  • Dietitians
  • Lactation consultants
  • Neonatal nurse practitioners
  • Neonatologists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Pediatric subspecialists
  • Pharmacists
  • Registered nurses
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Social workers
  • Speech therapists

Your primary care doctor may order a consultation with a neonatologist before your delivery. In that case, a neonatal doctor will come to your room and explain what to expect if your baby is born prematurely. A NICU nurse may also visit and tell you more about our units and services.

NICU nurse navigators

Expectant mothers at our hospitals have access to a team of nurse navigators. These navigators work with families and medical teams to:

  • Offer guidance about all of our labor and delivery services, including NICU care
  • Schedule face-to-face meetings with our board-certified neonatologists
  • Schedule tours of our NICUs

Neonatal surgery

With a Level IV NICU, St. David's Medical Center is uniquely equipped to provide advanced care. Neonatal specialists at this hospital perform a wide range of surgeries, including procedures related to the following specialties:

  • Cardiology
  • Dermatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • General surgery
  • Hematology
  • Infectiology (infectious disease care)
  • Nephrology
  • Neurology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthopedic surgery
  • Otolaryngology (head and neck care)
  • Pulmonology
  • Radiology
  • Urology

Family Rooms

At St. David's Medical Center and St. David's Women's Center of Texas, families with a newborn in the NICU can take advantage of our Ronald McDonald Family Rooms. These dedicated spaces enable you to rest and heal while your baby receives care.

Ronald McDonald House

St. David’s Women’s Center of Texas also offers a home-away-from-home for NICU families who live outside Austin. The Ronald McDonald House, just a short drive from our hospital, is open to families who need a comforting place to stay while their newborn is in the NICU. Your neonatal nurse or case manager can make a referral if you need to use this space.

Leaving the NICU

We ensure every NICU "graduation" is a celebration. We also plan your child's discharge from the hospital with patient education in mind. To this end, we ensure all families are equipped to care for their newborns independently at home. We will go over some basics of infant care, including dressing, feeding and bathing. We will teach you how to:

  • Give any needed medications
  • Take your child's temperature
  • Use medical equipment at home

Before leaving, we will give you a discharge checklist and other information about your baby's ongoing care.