Exceptional Care That Transforms.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Memorial has the ONLY neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. This Level 3 critical NICU offers 11 semi-private rooms with 23 NICU beds. In the event of high-risk or for premature or ill newborns, the advanced services of Memorial's NICU can be lifesaving.

The Only Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) on the Mississippi Gulf Coast

At Memorial Hospital, we are prepared for the unexpected when you’re expecting. The Birthplace is dedicated to creating a comfortable, joyous experience, but should the need arise, the only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) on the Mississippi Coast is available at Memorial for sick infants and newborns.

The Children’s of Mississippi Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) cares for sick infants and newborns in Gulfport and surrounding communities. The only unit on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the Memorial NICU is staffed by board-certified neonatologists.

Partnership with Children’s of Mississippi

We have access to subspecialty care through Children’s of Mississippi’s extensive network so we can help give premature babies and babies with other diseases the special care they need. Located on the seventh floor of Memorial Hospital, the NICU was recently updated and features 23 beds in 11 semi-private rooms. One parent may stay with the infant in our comfortable rooms.

A Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is a dedicated space where advanced technology and highly trained healthcare professionals can provide specialized, compassionate care for babies, including those littlest patients who are not sick enough for intensive care but who do require specialized nursing care.

Special Care for Maternal, Delivery, and Baby Risk Factors

The majority of babies that are brought into the NICU were born preterm, which is before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Others have low birth weights or conditions that require specialized care. They include twins, triplets, and more, which is because multiples are usually born earlier and smaller than single-birth babies. Other babies who are treated in the NICU can also include those with breathing difficulties, heart conditions, infections, or birth defects.

Below are some factors that can place a baby at high risk and increase the chances of being admitted to the NICU. But each baby must be assessed to see if he or she needs the NICU. High-risk factors include the below.

Maternal Risk Factors

  • Being younger than age 16 or older than age 40
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Bleeding
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Multiple pregnancy (twins, triplets, or more)
  • Too little or too much amniotic fluid
  • Premature rupture of membranes (also called the amniotic sac or bag of waters)

Delivery Risk Factors

  • Changes in a baby’s organ systems due to lack of oxygen (fetal distress or birth asphyxia)
  • Buttocks delivered first (breech birth) or other abnormal position
  • The baby’s first stool (meconium) passed during pregnancy into the amniotic fluid
  • Umbilical cord wrapped around the baby’s neck (nuchal cord)
  • Forceps or cesarean delivery

Baby Risk Factors

  • Baby born at gestational age of less than 37 weeks or more than 42 weeks
  • Birth weight less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces (2,500 grams) or over 8 pounds, 13 ounces (4,000 grams)
  • Small for gestational age
  • Medicine or resuscitation in the delivery room
  • Birth defects
  • Respiratory distress including rapid breathing, grunting, or stopping breathing (apnea)
  • Infections such as herpes, group B streptococcus, chlamydia
  • Seizures
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • Need for extra oxygen or monitoring, IV (intravenous) therapy, or medicines
  • Need for special treatment or procedures such as a blood transfusion

Neonatal Transport Team

Our neonatal transport service provides quick and efficient inter-hospital transfer. On-going care is provided in our NICU.

Memorial’s specially equipped ground transport carries acutely ill or potentially unstable infants to the neonatal intensive care unit. The specialized transport team consists of trained nurses and respiratory therapists with neonatal and pediatric experience. An integral part of the team is the neonatologist who activates the transport team and supervises care during the transport.

This means you have a choice to transfer from another facility, if needed, and stay on the Coast, close to home and family.


Have your baby at Memorial! Schedule a tour of Memorial Birthplace by calling (228) 575-2299.