Savor the Tiniest Moments
We provide a supportive environment for moms-to-be, so you can focus on having a healthy pregnancy and delivery.
Pregnancy and Childbirth
Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
Please check for current COVID-19 visitor restrictions at St. Joseph Medical Center. Thank you.
If your newborn has complications at birth, it can be an overwhelming experience. You and your family can rest reassured, knowing that there is high-quality, specialized care nearby at our Level III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in Tacoma.
Advanced care for premature and critically ill newborns
At Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, we’re dedicated to providing the best possible start for your new baby. At St. Joseph Medical Center, neonatologists and other specially trained clinicians in our Level III NICU are ready to provide care at a moment’s notice, 24 hours a day. View our NICU video to see our new facilities and hear from our dedicated team.
Through our affiliation with Seattle Children’s, we extend world-class neonatal care throughout our birth centers in Puget Sound — keeping families together, close to home.
Level III NICU: Priority care for critically ill infants
We opened our expanded NICU in late 2020, designed with valuable insight from our graduate parents. The result is an intimate, family-focused care environment, including:
- Huge, suite-like rooms, with areas designated for baby’s needs, separate spaces for family and for the care team, and everything you could need during baby’s stay with us
- All rooms are private, with full bathroom including tub and shower
- Leading-edge equipment, including centralized cardiac monitoring to keep all babies’ health in view, at all times
- The newest airflow systems to ensure the safest, germ-free environment possible for babies, families and staff
- Frosted privacy glass on doors for nursing mothers, with convenient nutrition storage and an emphasis on mother’s own milk
- Cheerful décor and sibling-friendly furniture
- Family room for respite time close to baby
We do all we can to help you get comfortable to life with your baby (or babies) in the NICU. We empower parents with hands-on education, and engage the entire family in NICU life. Our goal is to send baby home with parents confident and ready to continue care for any special needs.
Neonatal specialists in our Level III NICU care exclusively for critically ill newborns, preemies and fragile infants with special needs. This includes premature babies, twins, triplets and other multiples, and babies requiring surgery.
Each baby is unique, and each situation, so the length of stay varies greatly. What we can say is that we will provide expert, attentive and individualized care of every newborn as long as they remain in our care.
Seattle Children’s neonatologists and neonatal nurse practitioners provide round-the-clock care for our premature and critically ill newborns at St. Joseph Medical Center. Our team of neonatal specialists also includes consulting specialists, specially trained nurses, dietitians, pharmacists and therapists specializing in newborns.
We believe strongly in the benefits of breastfeeding and encourage our mothers when it is an option. In fact, St. Joseph has received international recognition for its breastfeeding support. Our certified lactation consultants provide inpatient NICU visits and outpatient follow-up (by appointment only). We supply advanced refrigeration and special bottle warmers for mothers’ milk and donor breast milk.
We make sure you can spend as much time as possible with your newborn. Our NICU is a place where families, including siblings, are welcome. We will be right by your side, to help you learn your baby’s special cues and help you bond as a family. Our role is to help educate our parents about their newborn’s special care and equipment and get them ready to parent confidently at home.
Download our free guide
Preparing for childbirth can be overwhelming. To help you get started, we’ve created a free downloadable guide that provides everything you need to know as you take your first steps toward motherhood with Virginia Mason Franciscan Health.
> Level III NICU
Partnership with Seattle Children’s Hospital
Choosing a Provider
High-risk Pregnancy Care
Delivering Your Baby
Classes and Resources
Accepted Insurance Plans
Women's Resource Center