Newborn intensive care unit in Idaho Falls, Idaho

Every baby born at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center (EIRMC) receives high-quality, around-the-clock care. Sometimes, a baby may require a little extra help after delivery. Our Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) provides the region's most specialized care for the smallest patients, from premature infants to sick "term" newborns. We are equipped to care for babies born as early as 23 weeks gestation or with severe health conditions requiring immediate attention.

Additionally, we provide access to high-level specialists and physicians and offer prenatal services for moms experiencing or expecting pregnancy complications across Idaho, western Wyoming and southern Montana.

If you're expecting pre-labor complications are expected or to find a perinatologist or neonatologist for early consultation, call us at (208) 227-2777.

Expert neonatal care specialists

Our NICU's primary concern is your baby's needs. EIRMC's NICU doctors and medical teams work to help your child develop as fully as possible with 24/7 care. You can expect your child to receive care from:

  • Board-certified neonatologists — Our neonatologists are specially trained pediatricians who treat premature infants and ill newborns. They collaborate with EIRMC's experienced perinatologist OBGYNs and pediatricians on high-risk pregnancies, are at bedside for high-risk deliveries and monitor babies' progress after birth.
  • Pediatric subspecialists — We consult with pediatric physicians who have additional training in pediatric cardiology, pediatric urology, pediatric gastroenterology, pediatric endocrinology, pediatric neurology, pediatric ophthalmology and pediatric otolaryngology.
  • Pediatric surgeons — We have a dedicated surgeon who specializes in pediatric surgical procedures and a pediatric anesthesiologist for our NICU.
  • Skilled registered nurses (RNs) — Our NICU has over 50 RNs trained in pediatric advanced life support, a certification recognized by the National CPR Foundation; Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP), an American Academy of Pediatrics program; and Sugar & Safe Care, Temperature, Airway, Blood Pressure, Lab Work, Emotional Support (STABLE) program, a nationally recognized program.
  • Physical, occupational, and speech therapists — A part of our physical rehab program, these experts help your child's physical growth and development. They teach you to hold, touch, and play with your baby in ways that best develop their muscles, swallowing and senses. If you have questions about your child's physical development needs, talk with one of our therapists at (208) 529-7982.
  • Registered dieticians (RDs) — These nutrition experts assess your baby's progress, focusing on when and how your baby is fed, the amount provided, tolerance to that feeding, and whether they are growing appropriately. In addition to weight gain, RDs recommend fortifying formula to promote bone mineralization, as some nutrients are often deficient in preterm infants.
  • Respiratory therapists (RT) — As part of EIRMC's pulmonary care services, our RTs visit your infant to assess how well they are breathing on equipment called ventilators. They may adjust the equipment to fit your baby's breathing needs or suction mucus from their lungs.
  • Social workers — Our social workers assist with post-discharge planning for items such as clothing, diapers, car seats, monitoring equipment, post-discharge therapies, emotional support and community agencies who may be able to assist.

Ronald McDonald Family Room

The Ronald McDonald Family Room at EIRMC provides comfort and support to families with sick children receiving care at our hospital. The Family Room, located within EIRMC, provides parents a place to relax. It has four sleep rooms, bathrooms with showers, laundry facilities, a kitchen, dining room and living room. Whether living in Idaho Falls or traveling to EIRMC from out of town, parents may use the Family Room free of charge. To use the Family Room, call (208) 227-2898.

Transport program staffed by NICU specialists

EIRMC provides neonatal care for patients from across the region. Our transport service quickly and efficiently transfers babies via ambulance, helicopter or airplane. Critical care RNs and respiratory therapists travel with patients to start or maintain treatment while en route to our NICU.

The transport team performs life-saving procedures and interventions under the direction of our neonatologists. The EIRMC transport team provides efficient, time-sensitive care to neonatal patients with congenital heart disease, extreme prematurity or respiratory distress.

Specialized neonatal care

Our neonatal team also provides specialized, neonatal-related care including:

Maternal-fetal care

Our perinatologists train for a variety of pregnancy complications, including:

  • Antepartum hemorrhage
  • Fetal abnormalities
  • Inadequate progress in labor
  • Intrauterine growth restriction
  • Malpresentation issues or breech birth
  • Medical complications of pregnancy (diabetes, hepatitis)
  • Multiple gestations or twins
  • Preterm labor and delivery
  • Preterm rupture of membranes
  • Severe pregnancy-induced hypertension or other hypertensive complications

Critical neonatal care

At EIRMC, neonatologists coordinate care for your baby during their first few months until you take them home. Some conditions a neonatologist may treat include:

  • Feeding difficulties
  • Injury or disease from hypoxic-ischemic events, as evidenced by persistent multisystem organ dysfunction
  • Low birth weight
  • Minor congenital malformations requiring special diagnostic procedures or treatments
  • Persistent respiratory distress
  • Premature deliveries from 23 weeks and up
  • Severe infections
  • Treatment for babies who need oscillator ventilation and nitric oxide for pulmonary hypertension

Additionally, we have a Ronald McDonald Family Room™ at EIRMC. Our Family Room is a comfortable and caring oasis for families to relax, eat, nap, and even sleep overnight. It’s free of charge, located within our facility and dedicated to caring for families of pediatric patients.

What to expect in a NICU unit

When you visit your baby in our NICU, everything will seem new, different and perhaps even frightening. Please ask our nurses as many questions as you need. It’s important to us that you and your family feel comfortable while your baby is in our care.

Visiting your baby

Parents and grandparents are encouraged to visit as much as possible. Your visits help you get to know your baby and learn how to care for them. It's our experience that parents who are actively involved in their baby's care promote a healthier outcome for their little one.

Multidisciplinary rounds are led weekdays at 10:00am by our neonatologists. The care plan for your baby is discussed during this time. So we can maintain confidentiality, families are invited into the unit when it is their baby's turn.

Since premature or ill infants cannot tolerate the stress of too many visitors or excessive handling, we ask that no more than two visitors be at the bedside. A parent must accompany visitors other than grandparents.

Visitors under 18

We do not allow visitors under 18 years old, even siblings of NICU babies. We certainly understand siblings want to meet the newest family addition, but this limits any dangerous exposure for already fragile neonatal patients. Additionally, we ask anyone experiencing even minor symptoms (sniffling, coughing) to refrain from visiting.

Your baby's safety

We are concerned about your baby’s safety. So, our NICU is a “locked unit,” and visitors should use the telephone located outside the unit to enter.