Cincinnati Children’s Ranked No. 8 Neonatology Program in U.S.

You can’t wait for the day when you welcome your new baby into the world.

But if that day doesn’t go as planned, we’re here.

We’re a nationally recognized team of neonatal and perinatal doctors, nurses, therapists and other specialists — and your baby is the center of this group. We will explain your child’s condition and answer any questions you have.

You want the very best for your baby. That’s why we work with many other Cincinnati Children’s specialists – from cardiology, neurology, hepatology, nephrology, genetics, social services, nutrition and child life just to name a few – to deliver coordinated care.

This approach is why we’ve been ranked the No. 8 neonatology program in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and what enables us to make advances in neonatal medicine, develop new therapies and treat complex conditions in utero.

Understanding and Preventing Preterm Birth, Together

Babies born before 37 weeks can face serious health conditions at birth and are at a higher risk of developing long-term health issues. Our team is committed to understanding what causes preterm birth and what we can do to prevent it in the first place.

We have built strong partnerships in our community to make a difference in the lives of babies, mothers and families:

  • Breakthrough research, coordinated by scientists at Cincinnati Children’s, has identified genetic and nutrition factors that may indicate an increased risk of preterm birth.
  • Through our partnership with Cradle Cincinnati, we have launched community-based initiatives to build trust, deliver care and better support women during their pregnancies. This work, which began in one local neighborhood, saw a dramatic decrease in preterm births among women living in the area. 

Finding Answers, Offering Hope

We’re honored to be one of the top eight neonatology programs in the country.

In our Perinatal Institute, we bring together clinical care, research, community programs, and education and training to ask the big questions, find answers and – ultimately – improve outcomes for your child and your family:

  • In addition to Cincinnati Children’s, our neonatologists work at 12 maternity hospital sites across the region sharing their knowledge and caring for preterm and sick babies in local neonatal intensive care units (NICUs), which reduces the need to transport babies to our medical center. 
  • The Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia Center provides state-of-the-art clinical care with technologic advances. That includes creating high-resolution images of lungs, heart and airway with MRI – something that was long thought to be impossible – to gain a better understanding of how lungs grow and develop in infants with BPD. By offering better screening technology and care coordinated across multiple teams, we have significantly improved outcomes for even the most complex patients. For example, the team has decreased the need for tracheostomy by 35 – 40% while also increasing survival. 
  • The Cincinnati Children's Fetal Care Center is one of the few centers in the country that can provide comprehensive fetal care, from diagnosis and surgical treatment of the fetus to delivery and long-term follow up. The Center brings together surgeons, maternal-fetal medicine specialists, neonatologists and other sub-specialists to pioneer cutting edge care for complex and rare fetal conditions. We can perform therapies on babies before they are even born so they can be healthier and stronger at birth.
    • Special Delivery Unit (SDU): In collaboration with TriHealth, we staff a 6-bed SDU where we deliver the most fragile babies and eliminate the need for transport immediately after birth. It’s one of only a few birthing centers in the world located inside a pediatric hospital, allowing mothers to recover down the hall from their infants cared for in our top ranked NICU and CICU. 
    • We house a dedicated fetal surgery unit at our hospital and are one of only a few fetal surgery centers in the United States with the expertise to perform the full range of fetal surgical interventions and innovative treatments such as Fetoscopic endoluminal tracheal occlusion (FETO), Fetoscopic surgery, Ex Utero Intrapartum Treatment (EXIT), and Cardio-Renal Pediatric Dialysis Emergency Machine (CARPEDIEM). 
    • Our researchers are leading studies to better understand how we can improve outcomes for babies with twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, bladder outlet obstruction and complex renal anomalies, neural tube defects, and congenital diaphragmatic hernia. We’re also exploring the best timing and approach for these clinical interventions.
  • The Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) Care program works closely with our Fetal Care Center to bring together a multidisciplinary care team of specialists in maternal fetal medicine, neonatology, pediatric surgery, cardiology, nursing, respiratory therapy, nutrition therapy and speech, occupational and physical therapy. The team works together to manage infants with severely limited heart and lung function. We provide parents with prenatal evaluation, care and counseling using a family-centered approach.
    • Our team participates in the CDH Special Focus Group through the Children’s Hospitals Neonatal Consortium (CHNC), Neonatal Research Network studies and other clinical research studies. These studies allow us to continually evaluate and adopt new methods of treatment for the best possible outcomes and offer long-term follow-up care throughout the child’s life.
  • With the opening of the Critical Care Building in November 2021, our new state-of-the-art newborn intensive care unit (NICU) will add 80 additional beds, bringing the total to about 100 beds. The new NICU features larger, private rooms; acoustical properties appropriate for optimizing brain development in babies; and special lighting to support circadian development in infants. 
  • Our Newborn Intensive Care Follow-up Clinic follows babies from hospital discharge until 3 years of age for medical and developmental needs. The dedicated group who runs the clinic includes multiple disciplines: neonatologists, pediatricians, neonatal nurse practitioners, dietitians, therapists, psychologists and social workers. We couple this with a strong research program associated with our clinic to learn about how the things we do in the NICU affect later development.
  • Our researchers are using state-of-the-art diffusion and functional MRI to comprehensively evaluate preterm brain development and develop accurate prediction models of neurodevelopmental outcomes. This research is facilitating targeted delivery of early intervention therapies/trials and adequately preparing parents for their child's future.
  • We have a robust quality improvement program focused on ensuring your baby has the best outcomes.  We have standardized our approach to feeding to reduce the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis, a dangerous gastrointestinal emergency babies sometimes develop in the NICU. We also have worked to ensure your baby is sleeping safely on his or her back before coming home, and we have optimized our support for breastfeeding throughout the NICU stay.
  • Our developmental biologists are studying organ development and generating new ways to instruct tissue to grow in a way to support failing organs in our babies.
  • Our researchers are studying new and rapid technologies to try and quickly diagnose genetic problems in newborns through full decoding of all genes to better direct their care. Our center provides care for many different genetic conditions that present in the prenatal or newborn period, and we welcome the opportunity to care for your baby.
  • Our care never stopped with COVID-19. Our patients didn’t miss any critical treatments because our team already adhered to the safest protocols for immune compromised patients. In addition, we rapidly pivoted to provide telehealth for in-patient rounding and outpatient care so families could still interact with many specialized providers in a safe manner.