Fetal and Neonatal Institute


If your baby has a complex medical condition, you want the most advanced care available. At the Fetal and Neonatal Institute at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, our highly skilled team provides comprehensive fetal and neonatal care for the tiniest of patients and their mothers. 

From identifying and treating conditions in babies still in the womb to delivery and postnatal services, we offer an innovative model of care for better outcomes. Our medical and surgical experts work together using groundbreaking diagnostics and surgical techniques to deliver compassionate, coordinated care, all in one convenient location.

We have a dedicated transport team, 24/7, that will come to the hospital where your baby is and bring your baby safely to us. We transport babies by both ambulance or helicopter depending on distance and how critical ill your baby is. As soon as your baby rolls in the front door, our entire medical team is all there to greet your baby and assess the minute your baby arrives in our unit. 

Our nursing assignments are either one nurse for one patient or one nurse for two patients. For some of the most critically ill patients, we even need two nurses for one patient. We have 24/7 physician coverage in our unit. We are fortunate to have specialists in every area. If your baby is critically I'll, we can actually bring the whole surgical team to the baby. We don't have to necessarily move an unstable baby to an operating room, like you might see in other hospitals.

Centers and Programs

At the Fetal and Neonatal Institute, our departments work together to provide comprehensive care through every stage of treatment. Programs at the Institute in these stages include:

Fetal-Maternal Center

The Institute’s Fetal-Maternal Center is one of only a few centers in the nation to provide comprehensive care when a fetal condition is suspected or confirmed for mothers with high-risk pregnancies. The Center helps hundreds of mothers each year whose unborn babies are at risk for life-threatening health conditions. The Center pairs doctors of Keck Medicine of USC with children’s specialists and RN care managers at CHLA to provide the best possible care for mothers and babies. 

Our team works with your obstetrician and delivery hospital to develop a plan of care to ensure your baby receives the care needed to ensure the best outcome. We have specialists across many medical disciplines. They identify and treat conditions in children still in the womb through fetal surgery and other advanced procedures. 

The Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation Newborn and Infant Critical Care Unit (NICCU)

Our neonatal intensive care unit treats critically ill infants who need highly specialized medical and nursing care for the full spectrum of neonatal diseases and conditions. As a Level IV unit, the NICCU offers the highest level of infant critical care available. Our patients have access to a wide range of pediatric specialists who work together to provide a diagnosis and treatment plan. 

When a baby has care that is complex and requires multiple different specialists, we work very hard to make sure that we are all communicating as a team. Every morning our entire care team rounds at the bedside to make a plan for your baby. That includes not just the physician team, but also the bedside nurse, a neonatal pharmacist, a neonatal dietitian and a neonatal care coordinator. We all round together, and we do parent conferences, where we involve all the different sub specialists to be able to present a unified diagnosis and treatment plan for our families.

Newborn Follow-Up Program

Our expert team provides ongoing evaluation and care for babies who are at risk for developmental issues related to conditions they were treated for in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Our Newborn Follow-Up Program offers ongoing care to ensure we meet your child’s special medical needs for growth and development.

For Parents

We believe in practicing family centered care, parents are involved as a member of the team. And so, because of that, we have designed our unit specifically to help address the needs of not just your baby but also your family. We have special space for parents. In each room, there is a sleeping area for parents. It's not just your baby that we're taking care of, we're taking care of the whole family.

Sometimes a family will come with a baby with a very complex medical condition, thinking that their baby is the only baby with this problem. And one of the things that we can say, that I think provides more comfort, is that this is something we've seen before. We have a whole team for this. We specialize in uncommon things.

This is all that we do and we do it with a team that's able to provide the best treatment possible, to ultimately get your baby home safely and as healthy as possible with your family.

For Providers

Our team has expertise in treating the most complex fetal and neonatal conditions. To refer a patient:

Fetal Maternal Center (FMC) – to refer a mother for definitive fetal diagnosis or for a second opinion, please contact our main FMC office at 323-361-6078.

The Steven and Alexandra Cohen Newborn and Infant Critical Care Unit (NICCU) is able to care for the most challenging neonatal conditions. We have a dedicated transport team that is able to provide ground and air transport. To speak to a neonatologist, call 323-361-2531; to refer a patient for transfer, please contact the Access & Transfer Center at 888-631-2452

Newborn Follow-Up Program – our program is an extension of our NICCU. To request information or to refer a patient, call 323-361-6488.

Conditions We Treat

Our team diagnoses and treats a broad spectrum of complex medical conditions in babies in all stages of development, from those who have not yet been born to those who have ongoing needs after birth. We offer advanced treatment for conditions including:

  • Chronic lung disease
  • Complex surgical conditions
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Low birth weight
  • Neurological complications including seizures and stroke
  • Prematurity complications
  • Rare diseases
  • Severe medical illness

Awards and RecognitionUSNWR Badge - Best Children's Hospital - Neonatology

The Fetal and Neonatal Institute is nationally recognized for exceptional, groundbreaking care for babies and their mothers. 

  • U.S. News & World Report ranked CHLA among the top hospitals in the nation for neonatology care.
  • The Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Program at the Newborn and Infant Critical Care Unit at CHLA was designated as a Center of Excellence by the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization.
  • The NICCU at CHLA received the 2014 ICU Design Citation Award, which is co-sponsored by the Society of Critical Care Medicine, the American Association of Critical Care Nurses and the American Institute of Architects Academy on Architecture for Health.