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Giving birth can make you joyous, tired, excited and nervous. But when your baby needs special care right away, your emotions can go into overdrive.

Hearing your baby needs to go into a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) — and maybe even surgery — can be overwhelming and stressful. You may wonder, “How do I know they’re in good hands?” When your baby needs special care after birth, you want the best for them. And it’s important to know you can choose where they get neonatal care and surgery. Even if it’s not at the same place where you gave birth.

Cleveland Clinic Children’s skilled and compassionate team of neonatal healthcare providers offers the highest level of family-centered care for the tiniest preemies and newborns with complex health conditions. We’re here to make sure your baby gets the best neonatal care possible — with the compassionate support your family needs to get through this unpredictable and unexpected journey.

Why Choose Us for Neonatal Care and Surgery?

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Patient-centered care:

Cleveland Clinic Children’s providers keep your family at the center of every treatment decision. You’re never in the dark about what’s next. Our caring team becomes an extension of your family, keeping you updated about your baby’s progress. Meet our team.

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Collaborative care:

Every newborn has different needs. That’s why we handpick providers from different specialties to care for your baby while they’re in our NICU. All their providers work together to make sure they’re getting the most personalized treatment possible.

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Caring approach:

It can be hard wondering what’s going on with your baby in the NICU. Our team makes sure your baby gets the best care and support in a calming, comfortable environment. With 24/7 visiting hours, you can spend as much time together as you want — as a family.

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Comprehensive treatment:

Your baby’s care doesn’t end after they graduate from our NICU. Cleveland Clinic Children’s post-neonatal care specialists closely watch your baby’s development and well-being for months or even years.

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Virtual visits:

Once your baby leaves the NICU, they may not be ready to go out for appointments. Our virtual visits are perfect for quick check-ins and follow-ups from home.

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National recognition:

U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Cleveland Clinic Children’s a top hospital in the nation. Newsweek has also named Cleveland Clinic a top hospital in the world.

Understanding Neonatal Care and Surgery at Cleveland Clinic Children’s

There are many reasons why your newborn may need to spend time in our NICU. Premature birth, low birth weight, respiratory distress, low blood sugar, infections, severe jaundice, brain, heart, lung, intestinal or kidney conditions. To name just a few.

But no matter the reason, you can rest assured knowing your baby is in skilled, caring hands. We have neonatal transport teams trained to quickly bring your baby to one of our NICU locations to get them the specialty care they need

Our NICU care includes two levels of support — with the latest treatments and equipment ready. Babies with the most complex medical conditions stay in our Level IV NICU on our main campus. Our care also includes two Level III NICUs at Fairview and Hillcrest hospitals. All our neonatal NICU providers are prepared for the unexpected.

Family-centered care

Your family is your newborn’s strongest advocate — and the most important part of their care team. That’s why we’re committed to keeping you fully involved in the many treatment decisions and progress updates while your baby is under our care.

We encourage you to join medical rounds and team meetings — and ask questions. We want you to always know how your baby is doing. Our 24/7 team led by the attending neonatologist is here to keep you updated as often as you need. We’re here to help you feel a little less stressed by keeping you informed.

It’s natural to want to be as close to your newborn as possible. It’s important to bond with your baby after birth, even if they need special neonatal care. That’s why we offer 24-hour parent visitation in our NICU. There’s no limit to how much time you can spend with your baby while they’re having treatment. Siblings age 3 and older can also visit the NICU to spend time with the baby if they pass a health screening by one of our registered nurses.

As your baby gets ready to leave the hospital, we’ll help you prepare to take them home. You have the choice of “rooming in” with them in one of our transition rooms. Our team helps you learn how to confidently care for your baby and their needs. And once you leave, we make sure your family is adjusting and that you have everything you need at home — like monitors and oxygen, nutritional support and more.

Meet Our Neonatal Care and Surgery Team

Because we believe in a team-based approach to care, your newborn gets care and support from different providers from many specialties. We carefully choose each provider on your baby’s care team, based on their unique needs. Your team of pediatric providers may range from pediatric cardiologists, pediatric urologists and nurse practitioners to social workers and speech and feeding specialists.

Our expert team can do pediatric general and fetal surgeries and pediatric specialty surgeries for your baby’s heart, brain, kidney, jaw (mandible), airway, bones and eyes. And in the NICU, our team provides 24/7 care and includes experienced board-certified neonatologists, NICU support team and neonatal advanced care practitioners and critical care nurses.

Your baby’s care team could also include other providers, like:


We offer neonatal care and surgery at the following locations in Northeast Ohio.

Getting Neonatal Care and Surgery at Cleveland Clinic Children’s

When your baby needs special care or surgery right after birth, our team is ready to spring into action. We offer many types of support and treatments for premature and newborn babies needing immediate care.

Complex labor and deliveries

Sometimes you’re prepared to have a complicated delivery. Other times, it comes as a surprise. We’re ready for any of the above, including high-risk and emergency cesarean sections. Our team combines years of experience and the latest technology to provide exceptional care throughout labor and delivery.

Once your baby is born, we have specialized neonatal care waiting, should they need it. There’s a hybrid cardiac catheterization laboratory and pediatric operating room (OR) attached to the special delivery rooms when labor and birth get complicated.

Specialized neonatal care

Besides our standard NICU care, we also offer advanced neonatal services that aren’t always available elsewhere like:

  • Interventional pediatric cardiac catheterization lab: Our radiologists and cardiologists specializing in pediatric interventional cardiology are trained to use advanced, minimally invasive procedures for newborn heart conditions
  • Neonatal neuro-intensive care: Our pediatric neurology team treats newborns with seizures, neuromuscular disorders and other brain and nerve conditions.
  • Pediatric cardiac intensive care unit (PCICU): If your newborn has a congenital (born with it) heart condition and needs surgery, our specialized team is here with the care they need.

Having Neonatal Surgery at Cleveland Clinic Children’s

The idea of your newborn having surgery is likely unthinkable. We understand that you may have a lot of questions and concerns about what’s next. We’re here to guide you and your family through every step of your baby’s surgical journey.

Our pediatric surgeons do some of the most advanced newborn surgeries, including emergency treatments. No matter what specialty team is needed in the OR, we have the trained, caring providers your baby (and you) need. You can be assured your baby is getting the best possible care before, during and after surgery — with round-the-clock progress checks and support. We’re by their side (and yours) as they recover.

Minimally invasive neonatal surgery

Whenever possible, we do minimally invasive surgery. Methods like laparoscopic  and thoracoscopic procedures use tiny incisions (cuts) and small surgery tools, which minimize pain, trauma and recovery time. Our surgery suites have the latest technology for even the most complex procedures.

Long-Term Neonatal Care at Cleveland Clinic Children’s

Cleveland Clinic Children’s keeps meeting your baby’s health needs after they leave the NICU. We do this with dedicated follow-up care for as long as your child needs to see us. We’ll track their progress and keep an eye out for long-term medical or developmental conditions like:

We’ll test your child as they grow to check their thinking, language and motor skills. This testing can help us pinpoint strengths and discover if things like occupational, physical and speech therapy might be helpful.

Taking the Next Step

When your newborn needs highly specialized care, it’s understandable to have many worries. But there’s one thing you don’t need to worry about — where to get the care they deserve. Cleveland Clinic Children’s is here for you. We know having a baby with complex medical conditions can be stressful. And exhausting. We give you peace of mind by giving them exceptional care — with a constant focus on your family. We’re the 24/7 support team to help you through this journey.

Getting an appointment with one of our neonatal care and surgery experts is easy. We’re here to help your child get care.


Getting an appointment with one of our neonatal care and surgery experts is easy. We’re here to help your child get care.

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