Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

Our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the only Level III NICU in North County, is here to support the special needs of your baby. Our 29-bed NICU has state-of-the-art equipment to support the most fragile of newborns.

The NICU is staffed with highly experienced individuals with specialized training in the care of critically ill infants. A team approach is used to give the best possible care from the moment of birth to the day they go home. With our focus on family-centered care, we expect parents to be an active member of their baby’s care team and encourage them to participate in the day-to-day care of their baby.

Our Team

  • Neonatologists on site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • The only Level III NICU in North San Diego County
  • Neonatal nurse practitioners
  • Registered nurses trained in neonatal care
  • Occupational and physical therapists
  • Certified lactation consultants for breastfeeding support
  • Neonatal nutritional specialists
  • Neonatal respiratory care practitioners
  • Social workers

Our Neonatologists On Site

 Movahhedian2Dr. Hamid Movahhedian, MD, FAAP
Chief of Division of Neonatology
NICU Medical Director
 pazDr. Pedro Paz, MD, MPH, FAAP
Associate NICU Medical Director
Staff Neonatologist
 UherDr. Ramana Uher, MD, FAAP
Staff Neonatologist
If your baby arrives earlier than expected or is born with medical issues, you want the best care available in a nurturing environment that fosters healing and growth.

Premature babies are born before their brains are fully developed and ready to absorb and respond to all the stimuli of the world outside the womb. Developmental supportive care is a group of strategies designed to limit the stresses of the outside world and their effects on the developing premature brain. These strategies range from reducing sound and light exposure to minimizing handling to provide longer rest periods.

Parents play a vital role in developmental care and are encouraged to visit frequently and be an active participant in the baby’s care. Kangaroo Care, the practice of holding baby skin to skin on the parent’s chest, is strongly encouraged for the positive developmental effects it has on baby both physically and emotionally. There is also a Lending Library available in the parent lounge where parents can borrow age-appropriate books in both English and Spanish. Parents are encouraged to read to their baby’s at the bedside to help with brain development and promote parent-infant bonding.

Our goal in the NICU is to support the physical and emotional needs of both the baby and their parents.

Studies have proven that the best nutritional start in life is with mother’s breast milk. Breast milk provides a variety of vital health benefits to all newborn infants but more so for those born sick or premature. Our breast feeding support staff of Certified Lactation Consultants is dedicated to supporting the educational and technical needs of our breastfeeding moms.

Certified Lactation Consultants are available 7 days a week for hands on assistance at the bedside. They will work with moms and their babies on proper technique and milk production strategies as well as troubleshoot any difficulties that arise.

After discharge, support is still available free of charge for those moms who need additional support. One on One evaluation and education is available by appointment in our Lactation Support Clinic. A drop-in Breastfeeding Support Group is also available every Wednesday from 9:15am to 11:00am where a lactation consultant and other new breastfeeding moms can offer support and encouragement.

For more information please contact the Lactation Support Services at (760) 940-7745.

The high-risk infant follow-up program provides additional specialized examinations that supplement routine well baby pediatric follow-ups for those babies who experienced unusual or difficult birth circumstances. This program provides information and resources to help parents support the developmental needs and growth of their baby. All results are discussed with the parents and ample time is given for all their questions to be answered.

The following areas are evaluated at each visit:

  • Growth and developmental assessment
  • Nutritional evaluation
  • Feeding skills evaluation
  • Family support

Transportation assistance to and from clinic can be arranged when needed.