Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

​​​​​At the heart of every birth is a wish for a full and happy life, and every parent wants their baby to be born healthy. We know how scary it can be when your baby is born too early or needs extra medical care after birth. For more than 50 years, the skilled and caring professionals at UW Medicine have been providing the highest level of care for even the most fragile newborns and their families, giving worried parents peace of mind. We are a leader in pioneering care that has helped newborns across the United States, and were the first health system in the region to open a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at UW Medical Center.

Our NICU teams bring together experts to focus on your baby’s unique needs. At the head of each team is a neonatologist, a doctor with specialized training in treating newborns’ medical problems. They work closely with neonatal nurse practitioners (NNPs), skilled nurses, physical therapists, respiratory care practitioners, pharmacists, nutritionists and others to give every baby the care it needs. Our providers also work in partnership with specialists at Seattle Children’s Hospital to care for newborns with more complicated medical needs.

At UW Medicine, we recognize that parents are the most important people in their newborn’s life. And while we will always provide the most advanced and expert care available, only parents can provide the love their baby needs. Our team works with parents to plan each baby’s care. We will be there every step of the way, teaching and supporting you as you make this journey with your baby.


The Level IV NICU at UW Medical Center is one of the largest in the Pacific Northwest, with 39 single rooms and four rooms for multiples. We care for the smallest, sickest, and most fragile newborns throughout the Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho region. Our expert team brings extensive experience and great compassion in caring for multiple births and micro preemies – babies born before 26 weeks gestation or weighing less than 2.2 pounds.

As part of UW Medicine, the NICU also has access to the most advanced neonatal research. Our team has been instrumental in setting the standard for reducing risk of brain damage and lung problems in premature babies across the nation.

Level III NICU at Valley Medical Center

VMC-SCH-NICU.pngThe NICU at Valley Medical Center is a close collaboration between the region’s most highly-respected providers from Seattle Children’s Hospital and UW Medicine, and is the only Level III NICU between Seattle and Tacoma. The NICU can care for up to 30 newborns, and our specialists provide expert care for premature infants and fragile babies who need more advanced support. Available around the clock, this tightly-coordinated team provides comprehensive care for infants and their families.

NICU Videos

To learn more about the Neonatal Intensive Care at the UW Medical Center Montlake Tower, please watch this video.

To see a tour of the NICU, please watch this video.

To see what that dedication looks like in action, we share this family’s story.