Neonatal Developmental Care

Neonatal developmental care is an integral part of the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland NICU experience. When a premature newborn is placed in our hands, we do more than just heal the body—we work hard to ensure a lifetime of safe and healthy development. This is done by using your child’s stay with us as an opportunity to create an environment that simulates the conditions of the mother’s womb and by emphasizing the role of parents in the process of neonatal care.

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Why Families Choose Us

Total Family Wellness

  • Experts agree that the most important brain development in children occurs in the months prior to birth through the age of three. When any of this is disrupted due to illness or premature birth, it’s our job to ensure that your child has access to top-level care that lasts far beyond a hospital stay.
  • Neonatal care at this level is about finding the right balance of physical, emotional, and developmental needs for both premature infants and those who have undergone intensive surgery in the days following birth.

Frontline Facilities and Staff

  • Our newborn developmental care facilities include low lighting and noise control, as well as specially-designed tools to help infants remain in a positive developmental position.
  • Regular monitoring and care is an integral part of neonatal development. That’s why our facilities are staffed around the clock with neonatal specialists and NICU teams here solely to support your developing premie.

A Lifetime of Good Health

  • At UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, we consider each patient a lifelong partner in health. That’s why we focus on both short- and long-term outcomes in our NICU infants.
  • Short-term goals include earlier weaning off oxygen, independent feeding, and a chance to go home as soon as it's safe. Long-term goals include language, speech, and social development well into toddlerhood and the preschool years.

Developmental Care at Home

  • All of our newborn developmental services include a family education component. We work one-on-one with families to read infant cues and create a safe and serene environment at home.
  • Additional follow-up services include a team of physical therapists, psychologists, and social workers who help track your child’s long-term progress and put you in contact with community resources.