Special Care Nursery

Parents expect the birth of a baby to be complication-free, but sometimes the unexpected happens. A baby may arrive prematurely or have medical needs that require special monitoring and equipment. For parents facing situations like these, it is comforting to know that Yampa Valley Medical Center has a Level IIB Special Care Nursery (SCN) that is recognized by the Colorado Perinatal Care Council.

The babies in our SCN often need extra time to grow strong. They may be connected to monitors, intravenous pumps, oxygen and other state-of-the-art medical equipment. It can be frightening for parents to have their infant depend on so much technology. That's why the YVMC team enourages parents to ask questions and participate in their baby's care.


Jessica McCullough spends precious time with her son, Oliver, in YVMC's Special Care Nursery. (Photo courtesy of Steamboat Today)


Kelly Bastone and her husband, Ben Russell share a priceless moment with their newborn daughter immediately after birth.












The neonatal care team at YVMC is experienced, highly trained and ready to provide emergency care for your newborn. If an infant requires extremely specialized care, the baby will be transferred to a Level III Intensive Care Nursery in Denver or Grand Junction. 

Once stabilized, many babies can be transferred back to our SCN where they will receive continuous care until they are ready to go home. Parents who give birth in other Colorado hospitals also have this option. Completing your baby’s care at YVMC will allow you and your family the opportunity to participate in your baby’s care without the added strain of a long commute. Our goal is to keep newborns as close to home as possible. 

The Neonatal Care Team at YVMC
  • Family practice physicians and pediatricians  
  • 24-hour neonatal nurse practitioner coverage
  • Registered nurses, including lactation consultants
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Occupational and physical therapists  
  • Case managers
Staying Close, Staying Involved

We encourage parents to spend as much time as possible with their baby during their stay in the SCN. Overnight accommodations in the Family Birth Place are available (space permitting) for parents who choose to stay. For breastfeeding moms, we provide an electric breast pump for times when a baby is unable to nurse or the mother is not in the hospital.

Skin to Skin Care

We believe touching is an important aspect of your newborn’s care. Our SCN promotes and assists parents with Kangaroo Care, which is a form of skin-to-skin contact. The baby is placed in an upright position directly against a parent's bare chest. This snuggling has been proven to be highly beneficial to growth and development in newborns.

Going Home
Our SCN staff makes sure parents have both the skills and confidence to care for their baby before they go home. Nurses will teach you how to handle your baby’s specific needs including medication administration, infant feeding and bathing as well as recognizing signs and symptoms of illness. We are available 24 hours a day to answer questions.
We also have “The Newborn Channel” which offers many newborn care and post-partum classes presented 24 hours a day. For mothers needing assistance with lactation or breast pump instruction or rental, our certified lactation consultant is available to work with breastfeeding mothers in the hospital and after the baby goes home.