Special Care Nursery

The centerpiece of our neonatology program is the Special Care Nursery, a Level II B facility for newborns. The nursery is designed to care for babies who need medical monitoring and specialized services not routinely available in standard maternity rooming-in environments or community hospital nurseries. Our close medical and nursing collaboration with the NICUs at our two partner facilities — Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital — ensures the most advanced approach to infant care.

Special Care Nursery Delivers Exceptional Care

Kate Meehan of Salem discusses the premature birth of her twins, Liam and Maggie, and the exceptional care they received at the NSMC Special Care Nursery. watch video

Special Care Nursery Program


Most of the babies in the Special Care Nursery were born at the Birthplace at NSMC Salem Hospital or transferred from a hospital in Boston. The nursery provides a welcoming environment for babies, siblings and parents, and visiting hours are flexible to accommodate families. Read about our plans for expansion and renovation of the Special Care Nursery.

Special Care for Special Babies

You and your baby’s doctor will be involved in every step of the care provided to your child at the nursery. Our convenient location will make it easy for you to visit your baby as often as you wish. When it is time for you to bring your baby home, we’ll help you and your baby make a smooth transition to the care of a skilled and caring physician close to home.


Kangaroo Care

Kangaroo care is the practice of giving your baby skin-to-skin contact. It enables parents to enjoy natural closeness with their baby. Kangaroo care has been shown to help premature babies grow, transition faster, and sleep more peacefully. It has also been shown to increase milk production in nursing mothers.

In the Special Care Nursery, kangaroo care visits are scheduled around feeding times. Parents may sit in a recliner next to the baby’s bed and hold the baby against their skin while baby feeds and rests afterward. Parents are advised to wear a loose fitting top while baby wears a hat and a diaper. A screen can be provided if needed, for privacy. Both father and mother can provide this care.


Specialty Care Close to Home

Should you child need advanced specialty care, local specialists including pediatric radiologists and ophthalmologists, and specialists from MassGeneral for Children regularly see our smallest patients at MassGeneral for Children at North Shore Medical Center (in Salem) or at the Mass General/North Shore Center for Outpatient Care (in Danvers).

Infant Follow-Up Program


The NSMC High-Risk Infant Follow-Up Clinic provides comprehensive evaluation and follow-up services to infants and toddlers, from birth to two years of age. Physicians and staff work with community-based pediatricians and parents to resolve growth, development and nutritional issues, identify medical, neurological and developments abnormalities, enhance the neurodevelopment of at-risk infants, and guide families to additional services such as audiology, gastroenterology, neurology, nutrition, ophthalmology, orthopedics or pulmonary expertise.