A higher level of NICU care for your newborn

We hope for a healthy and easy delivery for every birth. That does not always happen. Sometimes health issues arise that can keep a newborn hospitalized longer than expected. For times like this Fountain Valley Regional Hospital and Medical Center has a state-of-the-art Level IIIB Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where sick babies, especially those who are premature, receive specialized treatment.

Fountain Valley’s NICU can treat infections, birth defects, breathing difficulties, growth restriction and maternal health problems. A level IIIB NICU is a unit dedicated to caring for the smallest and sickest of newborns. Our level of NICU gives your baby access to a wider range of pediatric specialists, ventilation support systems, imaging capabilities and surgeries. Full-term babies can also be treated in the NICU for conditions such as anemia, jaundice, heart problems or breathing issues. Our NICU features 23 special care (Level IIIB) nursery beds that are certified by California Children’s Services.

High-risk Infant Follow-up Program

We also offer a High-risk Infant Follow-up Program designed to help children who required neonatal intensive care and may remain at risk for other problems in the future. Respiratory problems, cognitive delay, speech or hearing impairment, and orthopedic problems are some of these concerns. The Fountain Valley NICU program provides developmental assessment and follow-up for up to 3 years for infants who meet certain criteria upon discharge. Criteria may include premature birth, low birth weight, low Apgar Scores or birth trauma with developmental delays.

A team certified in caring for high-risk and premature infants addresses the medical, nutritional, neurological, developmental and social needs of our young patients. Clinic assessments are conducted at 4-6 months, 9-12 months and 18-36 months by a neonatal physician specialist, a developmental specialist and a neonatal nurse. Other ancillary service specialists such as a physical therapist, occupational therapist, social worker, or registered dietician may also be involved.

If the follow-up program is recommended for your child, your first appointment for the clinic will be made through the NICU prior to discharge. Your nurse will make sure you know how to access the clinic before you and your baby go home.

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Pediatric Questions: What Shots Does My Baby Need?

Parents do many things to protect their children, from strapping them into car seats to putting a coat on them if it’s cold outside. And new parents have a lot of pediatric questions.

One way parents can take care of their little ones is to make sure they have all the vaccinations necessary to safeguard babies and children from harmful diseases. Vaccines work by taking weakened or killed versions of bacteria or viruses and then stimulating the immune system to create antibodies that will fight possible exposure in the future.

Pediatric Questions About Vaccines

Why do I need to immunize my baby for a rare disease?

Vaccines are necessary until a disease is eliminated worldwide. For example, polio isn’t common in the United States any more. But children still need to be immunized because people traveling from other countries where polio still occurs could expose children and adults to the disease without even knowing it.

Are vaccines safe?

Yes. The U.S. vaccine supply is the safest it has ever been and follows a vaccine safety system. Most common side effects of vaccines are pain or swelling at the site of injection.

What vaccines does my child need between birth and age six?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a schedule that protects children from 14 diseases by age 2:

  • The diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP) vaccine, which is three vaccines in one, is given as a series of five shots at two, four and six months, and then usually between 15 and 18 months, as well as between four to six years. A booster vaccine called Td is given to prevent tetanus and diphtheria at age 11 or older and then every 10 years throughout life.
  • The inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) is administered at two and four months of age, and then between six to 18 months and four to six years.
  • The MMR vaccine protects against measles, mumps and rubella. It is given as two shots, the first of which is given between 12 to 18 months, and the second when the child is four to six years old.
  • The Hib vaccine helps prevent Haemophilus influenza type B, which can lead to meningitis, pneumonia and a severe throat infection. This series of three or four shots is generally given at two, four and six months, and then between 12 to 15 months.
  • The varicella vaccine is given to protect children against chickenpox. The first dose is administered between 12 to 15 months; the second between four to six years.
  • The hepatitis B (HepB) vaccine is the only shot given to newborns before hospital discharge. It is also required between one and two months of age, and then between six and 18 months.
  • The rotavirus vaccine is given in two or three doses at two, four and six months. It is an oral vaccine, not a shot.
  • The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) protects against a type of bacteria that can cause ear infections. Children receive four doses of this vaccine at two, four and six months, and then between 12 to 15 months.
  • Two doses of Hepatitis A vaccine (HepA) are recommended, with the first some time between 12 and 23 months old. The second dose is six to 18 months later.
  • The flu shot to prevent influenza is given in two doses for children age six months to eight years.
For more information about immunization shots for your child, talk with your doctor.