Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Sharp Mary Birch
Visitation policy update: At this time, only adults with wristbands will be allowed in the NICU, and siblings will not be permitted. Thank you for understanding.
About the Sharp Mary Birch NICU.
Sharp Mary Birch's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is known worldwide for excellent care, and is the largest unit of its kind in California. As a Level III NICU, there's no better place for your baby to receive specialized, high-quality medical care.
A team approach to healing our littlest patients.
At Sharp Mary Birch, we work together to help your baby heal. Our specialized care team includes:
- Lactation specialists
- Neonatal nurse practitioners
- Occupational therapists
- Physical therapists
- Research specialists
- Respiratory care practitioners
- Social workers
Our caregivers are focused on your family's care. This means assistance with feeding, private rooms where parents can take an active role in care and informational sessions so you know what your baby needs.
A reputation you can count on.
There's a reason why more than 130 babies are transferred to our NICU from other area hospitals each year. We rank among the top four centers in the nation for NICU infection prevention, and we care for up to 84 infants at a time.
Our unique programs keep us at the top of our field:
- Neonatal Research Institute
A team of caregivers provides the latest scientific evidence on the best ways to care for our newborns.
- Neurologic Intensive Care Nursery
Specialized state-of-the-art care for newborns who may require advanced neurologic assessment and care.
- Developmental Care Program
Technology and innovation combine with human touch to give at-risk babies the best start in life.
- Nemeth NICU Follow-Up Clinic
Ongoing specialized follow-up care and assessments promotes growth for preterm babies after leaving the NICU.
NICU resources for you.
We collected various tools to help you care for your newborn and connect with fellow parents and guardians with babies in the NICU.
Parents can visit their baby in the NICU nearly always, with the following exceptions:
- NICU guidelines
- Weekly Care Rounds (Nurseries C and D): Mondays, 1 to 2:30 pm
- Weekly Care Rounds (Nurseries A and B): Wednesdays, 1 to 2:30 pm
- Special procedures
- Daily Quiet Time (nursing shift changes): 7 to 7:30 am and 7 to 7:30 pm
It is important for Quiet Time to be as uninterrupted as possible so that nurses can provide reports and information to the oncoming nurse. Please ask questions before or after Quiet Time.
- If you wish to hold your baby, please arrive no later than 6:45 am/pm
- If you must leave during Quiet Time, please re-enter after 7:30 am/pm
Information about your baby will only be shared with a legal parent/legal guardian over the telephone or at the bedside. Due to infection concerns, only bottled water is allowed. Please also refrain from using perfume or scented lotions.
We offer a secure, encrypted camera-streaming system for parents, guardians and extended family members to view their baby 24/7. You can sign up for this program when your baby is admitted to our unit.
- Sharp Mary Birch Support Group
Join our support group every Wednesday from 1 to 2 pm for parents and guardians whose baby is in the NICU. We meet in the NICU, and walk-ins are welcome. Prior to your arrival, please refer to our visitor policy and abide by COVID-19 safety guidelines. If you have any questions, please call Sharp Mary Birch's social work department at 858-939-4133.
- Sharp Mary Birch NICU Parent Facebook Group
We created a safe place only open to current and past NICU parents to support each other. Go to facebook.com and search “Sharp Mary Birch NICU Parent Support Group.” Click on the “Join Group” button, and one of our staff members will confirm your information and grant you access.
- Guiding parents throughout the NICU experience
Read our specialized guide for NICU parents. This guide provides information on the NICU, caring for your baby during the first few weeks of life, and preparing for your baby’s discharge from the hospital. Disable your browser's pop-up blocker in order to view it. The guide is also available in Spanish.
- Sharp newborn/baby care classes and support groups
From childbirth preparation and baby care basics, Sharp offers various classes and support groups to assist you in caring for your baby.
- Kangaroo care in the NICU
We encourage you to be as hands on and involved as possible with your baby, even while in the NICU. Learn how to do skin-to-skin contact, also known as kangaroo care.
- NICU to Now
Our support of each NICU family continues far beyond the day they graduate. Please share your NICU to NOW story, including your NICU graduate's growth, milestones and accomplishments with the Sharp Mary Birch NICU community.