Newborn Intensive & Intermediate Care

If your baby arrives earlier than expected or has health problems at birth, he or she may need to spend extra time in either the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) or in intermediate care.

We work around the clock to care for your baby while allowing as much mother-baby bonding as possible. We are New Mexico’s only dedicated children's hospital and academic medical center—which means you will have access to advanced treatments, so you and baby can get home sooner.

Whether your baby needs intensive treatment, a few days of monitoring or long-term developmental support, their health—and your peace of mind— is our priority.

If your newborn needs treatment or monitoring, take comfort in knowing he or she will be in expert hands in our Level III Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Your baby will benefit from advanced technology and services:

  • Bedside imaging tests to help doctors quickly, easily and accurately diagnose conditions
  • Cardiac catheterization, or minimally invasive heart testing and treatment
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) to circulate blood as a newborn's lungs and heart rest or heal
  • Neonatal surgery
  • Respiratory therapy
  • Ventilator support for newborns whose lungs are recovering or still developing
  • Whole-body cooling to help protect the brains of babies who experienced reduced blood flow

To reach the NICU, call 505-272-2127.

If your baby needs additional medical care before going home—but not intensive treatment, our intermediate care nursery is the best place for him or her.

This Level II nursery is for newborns with medical issues that typically resolve within a few days. Our team of neonatology specialists and experienced nurses closely monitor your baby and provide specialized care, including:

  • Encouraging bonding between you and your baby
  • Helping with breastfeeding
  • Teaching you special care instructions such as feeding, medications, etc. before you go home

To reach the immediate care nursery, call 505-272-1836 or 505-272-0830.

If your newborn will need specialized developmental care after leaving the hospital, we'll refer you to our Special Baby Clinic at UNM Carrie Tingley Hospital.

During visits in your little one's first few months and years of life, compassionate experts will provide assessments, recommend specific therapies and advise you on treatments to help your child reach his or her potential. They'll also provide education and referrals to community resources to help you care for your family.

No matter where you and baby stay, you both will benefit from our compassionate experts. Our neonatal care team includes:

  • Neonatologists. A neonatologist is a pediatrician with advanced training in caring for newborns who are born prematurely or in crisis. Our neonatologists are board-certified and available 24/7 to meet with families to discuss their baby’s care.
  • Advanced practice nurses. Our team of neonatal nurses and neonatal nurse practitioners (NNP) have advanced training in the care of premature and sick newborn babies. They work closely with the neonatologist to treat newborns with a customized, comprehensive plan of care.
  • Developmental care specialists. Developmental care makes the transition from womb to world less stressful for sick or premature infants. Our specialists also help parents with skin-to-skin cuddling, called kangaroo care. Research has proven it helps babies maintain stable vital signs, sleep better and be more willing to breastfeed.
  • Lactation specialists. A certified lactation consultant is a specialist trained to focus on the needs and concerns of mothers who breastfeed. In the NICU and immediate care nursery, our compassionate team of consultants assist moms with special care for premature or ill infants.
  • Nutritionists. A nutritionist is a registered dietician with the expertise to assess the dietary needs of newborns in the NICU or immediate care nursery. They will develop a feeding program, monitor growth and help you make sure your baby gets the right nutrition when they are ready to go home.
  • Pharmacists. Our team of pharmacists help our care providers choose safe, effective medications for critically ill or premature babies in our care.
  • Respiratory therapists. Premature and ill newborns often need support to help them breath until their lungs are fully developed or healed. A respiratory therapist is specially trained in managing oxygen therapy and breathing machines.
  • Social workers and case managers. This team of specialists provides a wide range of services to parents of critically ill babies. From emotional support to arranging home healthcare, our social workers and case managers are here for you.

Once your baby goes home, he or she will need regular check-ups. Schedule an appointment with a UNM pediatrician. Call 505-272-4866.


Each room has sleeping sofas so parents can spend the night with their baby. If you live outside the Albuquerque area, ask us about staying at Casa Esperanza or the Ronald McDonald House or in a family room at our NICU while your baby receives medical care.

Get High-Quality Prenatal Care

Join a pregnancy group, get prenatal testing and receive care for every stage of your pregnancy. Explore UNM’s Ob/Gyn and midwife services.