Normal life looks a lot different these days, especially in healthcare. But there is one thing that hasn’t changed at Children’s Colorado: Your child’s health and safety are our highest priority. Kids need great pediatric care as much now as ever, and it’s for that reason that we’re reactivating services we temporarily suspended due to the pandemic. We are here to deliver safe, thoughtful, high-quality care for kids who need it. Learn what to expect – and all the ways we’re keeping patients safe.
If you're concerned that you or your child may have been exposed to COVID-19, please do NOT visit an emergency or urgent care location. Instead, call your doctor or our free ParentSmart Healthline at 720-777-0123 for guidance.
In life-threatening emergencies, find the emergency room location nearest you. For non-life-threatening medical needs when your pediatrician is unavailable, visit one of our urgent care locations.
As a national leader in neonatal care, Children's Hospital Colorado has all the neonatal specialists to care for your baby and your family 24/7. From neonatologists to neonatal nurses to lactation specialists, we have the right provider with the right training to help you and your baby.
Our specialists are on-site around the clock, rather than on call, so your baby doesn’t have to wait for the best care. And your entire care team meets every day to assess how your baby is doing and adjust the treatment plan so your baby gets exactly what they need.
Here, we understand that a stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) can be stressful. That's why we provide the highest level of care in an environment that feels as comfortable as possible. We're here to support your family's medical, emotional and logistical needs from before delivery through going home – and beyond.
A neonatologist, sometimes called an attending physician or neonatal doctor, is a pediatrician who has undergone additional training and certification to care for critically ill babies. Our neonatologists diagnose and care for babies who are born very prematurely or have serious illnesses or injuries. They coordinate and oversee your baby's care from delivery to when you take your baby home. Neonatologists also work hand-in-hand with the rest of the neonatal team members and other specialists to ensure your baby is receiving the specialized care they need.
Neonatal fellows are board-certified pediatricians who are undergoing additional training in neonatal critical care in our NICU. They work under the direct supervision of the attending physician and closely with the other members of the medical team.
Neonatal nurse practitioners
Neonatal nurse practitioners (NNPs) are advanced practice nurses who specialize in caring for newborns and have undergone additional education and training in this area. They hold a master's or doctorate degree and are certified to lead and manage care of critically ill infants. Our NNPs coordinate with our neonatologists 24 hours a day, but they are also qualified to evaluate and diagnose your baby, as well as initiate treatment.
Our NNPs work closely with your entire care team to coordinate your care plan and are there to answer questions you might have. They work in our NICUs to care for babies in need of the highest level of care, but also in our partner locations throughout Colorado.
Our neonatal nurses are the "front line" of our NICU care team and the caregivers you will interact with the most. They check in with you every morning and throughout the day to review your baby's goals, assess their progress and check equipment as necessary.
You can ask your nurses any questions you have about your baby's care. As neonatal specialists, they often know you and your baby the best and will help you feel as comfortable as possible in the NICU. Throughout your stay, our nurses will help you learn the skills you need to take care of your baby once you go home and make sure you feel comfortable when it’s time to leave the NICU. They have extensive experience and training in caring for newborns with significant health issues.
Dedicated nurse coordinators
Neonatal nurse coordinators partner with your providers to make sure you are fully prepared and comfortable taking your baby home. They work with your pediatrician to transition any of your care home and help you schedule any necessary follow-up appointments.
Babies who are born prematurely or have serious birth defects or illnesses often need help meeting developmental milestones. Our specialized pediatric therapists play a huge role in helping your baby reach those goals. Depending on your baby's illness, they might see respiratory, physical, speech, feeding or occupational therapists to help develop certain skills and improve their overall health.
Our therapists work only with children and have extensive training in their respective specialties. This level of expertise and experience will help your baby thrive and often catch up to peers their age developmentally.
If you are breastfeeding your baby, we have a team of registered nurses certified in lactation counseling to help you. Our lactation consultants have specific expertise working with families in the NICU. They will help you develop a feeding plan specific to your baby's health needs and your breastfeeding goals. Our Breastfeeding Support Program helps you prepare for birth, supports you throughout your NICU stay and coordinates care with providers in our Breastfeeding Management Clinic, who can help you once you leave the hospital.
We also have milk and formula labs to store and prepare breastmilk or formula for your baby's specific health needs.
Mental health and social work specialists
Having a baby in the NICU can be stressful on the whole family. That's why we employ a team of mental health and social work professionals to help you with a wide range of mental and social health issues that may arise. They can help with prenatal (before birth) counseling, adjusting to the NICU, individual therapy, connecting to additional resources and so much more. For whatever help you need, we have a team of psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health clinicians, clinical social workers and other behavioral health specialists trained specifically to help families in the NICU.
Neonatal palliative care specialists
Our neonatal palliative care specialists include neonatologists, nurses, chaplains, child life specialists and others who provide emotional, spiritual and physical support to babies and families. If your baby is seriously ill, our neonatal palliative care providers focus on improving you and your baby's quality of life throughout your care. Our team specializes in relieving the mental, physical and emotional distress that can come with a serious medical condition.
Many babies in our NICU have birth defects and other illnesses that require care from specialists in areas such as breathing, neurology, pediatric surgery, urology, otolaryngology and many others. We work every day with these specialists who have the highest level of expertise in their particular area. They will work in close coordination with your neonatal care team to make sure your baby has the best outcome possible.