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Our state-of-the-art Level IV NICU

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s NICU in Milwaukee is the first and largest Level IV NICU in the state, capable of caring for any newborn regardless of diagnosis. Level IV is the highest level designated by the American Academy of Pediatrics. We are also the only Level IV NICU in the state that is co-located with a birth center, minimizing the transport time needed for newborns.

Video: Take a tour of our NICU

Kara Schwobe, RN, BSN, NICU patient care supervisor provides a tour of the new NICU.


Our Level IV NICU has 70 private patient rooms designed to address the unique developmental needs of our babies. It also incorporates many design concepts to support shorter stays and a better quality of life for our tiniest patients by providing special accommodations for multiple births, maximizing nurse proximity to babies, promoting maternal/paternal/infant bonding, and integrating technologies.

Video: NICU features

Dr. Michael Uhing, medical director of neonatology and Sarah Currie, NICU patient care director, provide an overview of services and features of the NICU.


Key features of our NICU

The NICU includes key developmental features and equipment to promote better outcomes for babies that can lead to shorter hospital stays. These NICU features include:

  • Special lighting, including restorative blue lights and sound-activated lights as visual reminders to keep voices low
  • Hand-washing sinks, with circulating color lights to help ensure properly scrubbed hands, located in administrative workstations in each suite for families and caregivers
  • Advanced, ergonomically correct technology at the bedside
  • Enhanced square footage in each room to accommodate bedside procedures and surgery
  • Milk kitchen for the management, preparation and distribution of human milk
  • Bedside refrigerators for breast milk storage in each room
  • Dedicated rooms for twins and triplets to allow families to stay together during care

So that parents may feel as comfortable as possible during this time, the NICU also offers the following:

  • Private breast-pumping rooms, in addition to the personal breast pump stations located in each private room
  • Enhanced space and furniture for parents to sleep at the newborn's bedside
  • Three family living rooms designed for special times when a family needs additional space and privacy with family and friends
  • Family learning center for structured activities for both education and socialization
  • Parent sleep rooms for when they cannot sleep in the room but do not want to be far away

Video: Milk Kitchen

Barbara Hayes-Dineen, RN, IBCLC, provides a behind-the-scenes tour of our Milk Kitchen to learn how this unique resource is helping breastfeeding mothers and babies in our NICU.

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Macy's NICU story shared on Facebook

Macy’s NICU Story
Macy was born with TEF/EA - an esophageal atresia and a tracheosophageal fistula. Her parents, Adam and Molly, were generous enough to share the story of their daughter Macy's first few weeks of life on Facebook. Read their story and watch the video.