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Neonatal Nurseries 

Contact Information

(905) 521-2100 ext. 76146 or (905) 521-5025 or toll free (866) 207-1971
Fax: (905) 527-4922

Clinical Manager: Carrie-Lynn Meyer                                                                                                              Clinical Manager (interim): Jennifer Watson 
Medical Director: Dr. Sumesh Thomas

Where is the unit located?

The Neonatal Nurseries, which includes the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and the Intermediate Care Nursery (ICN), are located within the McMaster Children's Hospital (MCH) at Hamilton Health Sciences, McMaster Site. 

What services do we provide?

The Neonatal Nurseries provide service to 22 regional hospitals with a birth rate of 25,000 annually. The Neonatal Nurseries provide a complete spectrum of neonatal intermediate and tertiary care excluding cardiovascular surgery. The Nurseries function collaboratively with the Obstetrics and Maternal-Fetal Medicine Program to provide consultation for mothers who have a moderate to high-risk pregnancy.

The Nurseries have the necessary resources and complement of consultants and healthcare professionals for infants who require support from a multidisciplinary team that provides diagnostic imaging, nutrition, respiratory, surgical, social work, pastoral care and subspecialty services. The Nurseries work in partnership with the referral centres within the region to receive and transfer infants back to the community.

The Neonatal Nurseries have a dedicated transport team that transports critically ill infants by land and air to and from the NICU and to other NICU's in Ontario. The Neonatal Transport Team completes approximately 400 transports annually.

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (47 beds) provides care for infants from LIHN 3 and LIHN 4 who require tertiary level neonatal care.  The Intermediate Care Nursery has 14 beds and provides secondary level care. The Neonatal Nurseries provide care to approximately 1,500 infants annually. 

To view our main patient education document entitled "Welcome to Neonatal", click here. To go to a list of and view our patient education material click here.

The Neonatal Nurseries regard the provision of care to the families of these infants as an essential part of their role. To learn more about family-centred care at MCH see the attachment below. The Neonatal Nurseries encourages families to join the Family Advisory Committee. If you would like to learn more about the Family Advisory Committee see the attachment below.


On September 6th, 2001, the Neonatal Nurseries expanded from 8,000 square feet to 18,000 square feet into a new unit designed by Parkin Architects Limited.  The unit has:

  • a family lounge with play area for children,
  • a quiet lounge,
  • increased privacy for each patient,
  • infant security measures,
  • an increased number of private areas for families to meet with the health care team,
  • individual bedside lighting,
  • 5 Care-by-Parent rooms and 5 Bunk rooms for families to stay close by,
  • lockable storage compartment at each bedside for family use,
  • 4 private rooms and 3 isolation rooms,
  • 100 square feet per baby,
  • 2 lactation rooms
  • a co-ordinating colour scheme in botanical theme.

Virtual Tour

To view a virtual tour of the unit see below. Parkin Architects developed the video prior to the opening of the unit. 

Click here to view the Virtual Tour video. (Windows Media Player Required)

Interdisciplinary team

The neonatal nurseries team consists of approximately 200 nurses and allied health professionals, 50 support staff, 20 Nurse Practitioners-Pediatrics (NP-Peds) and approximately 21 medical staff (including neonatologists, pediatricians, fellows and residents). Accompanying the medical and ACNP staff on any given day shift in the Neonatal Nurseries there are approximately 24 Registered Nurses, 1 Charge Nurse, 2 Transport Nurses, 1 Admission Nurse (who attends Labour & Delivery), 3 Registered Respiratory Therapists, 5 Business Clerks, 4 Health Care Aides, 1 Pharmacist, 1 Pharmacy Technician, 2 Dieticians, 2 Social Workers, 2 Occupational Therapists, and 2 Lactation Consultants caring for the babies and families.   A leadership team consisting of a Clinical Manager, a Medical Director, 1 Clinical Nurse Specialist, 1 Neonatal Clinical Leader, 1 Transport Clinical Leader, 1 Respiratory Therapy Clinical Leader, 1 Education Clinician, 1 Scheduling Coordinator, 1 Service Coordinator and 1 Data Management Specialist supports the staff.

Two teams (made up of residents, fellows and nurse practitioners) are lead by neonatologists and deliver medical care for the babies. The neonatologists are on service for a two-week stretch and are the most responsible physician (MRP).


Programs supported in the Neonatal Nurseries include: 

  • Developmental Care,
  • Helping our Parents with Education (HOPE),
  • McMaster Perinatal Association (McPera)
  • Primary Nursing,
  • Kangaroo Care,
  • Breastfeeding Support
  • Palliative Care

Research is a very important part of the quality care we deliver. Many research studies are being conducted in the unit today, some that involve NICU's from around the world. Participation in research in the Neonatal Nurseries is completely voluntary. Families can ask their baby's care providers for more details.

The Nurseries have an established, internationally recognized, Growth and Development Clinic to follow and assess high-risk infants (all infants <1500g birth weight and other special referrals). The mandate of the clinica is to maximize the development potential of infants by providing optimal support and advice to the family and ensuring early detection of neuro-developmental impairments with appropriate referrals to treatment centres and social and community services where indicated.

The Neonatal Nurseries participates in education through collaboration with McMaster University's Residency Program in Pediatrics, McMaster University's Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program, McMaster University School of Nursing, Mohawk College Post-RN Perinatal / Neonatal Nursing Program and the Respiratory Therapy Program at The Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences.      


The Neonatal Nurseries at McMaster Children's Hospital are situated in a hospital that also cares for adults. This means that mothers and babies are cared for in the same facility and do not need to be separated if the baby requires special care. Every step of the way, we do all we can to make sure the family receives the care and support they need.

Please see the attachments and links below for information related to the Neonatal Nurseries.

MCH Family Resource Centres

Canadian Association of Neonatal Nurses

Fetal Alert Network

Early Words

McMaster University Department of Pediatrics Neonatal Division

Canadian Neonatal Network


Family Centred Care at MCH(PDF)
Family Advisory Council (DOC)

Hamilton Health Sciences • Hamilton, Ontario • 905.521.2100

Disclaimer: Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) offers Google Translate to better facilitate access for our community. However, HHS makes no claims regarding the accuracy of translations. Any and all health information should be verified by a health care professional.