Progress West Hospital today unveiled a new addition to its Childbirth Center with the opening of its Newborn Intensive Care Unit. The new unit enables the hospital to provide care for premature babies born at a gestational age as young as 32 weeks.

The new unit features 8 newborn ICU beds and state-of-the-art technology. It also features a unique layout that promotes family-centered care.

“We are so excited to be able to keep complicated infants and premature infants right here in St. Charles County – closer to their parents and extended families,” said Dr. Cassandra Pruitt, Washington University associate professor of pediatrics and pediatric medical director for Progress West Hospital.

According to recent medical research, keeping mothers and their babies together is one of the top factors in helping NICU babies and mothers recover more rapidly.

“We in the Childbirth Center at Progress West are extremely proud of the new Newborn Intensive Care Unit,” said Jane Bruegenhemke, Clinical Nurse Manager, Women and Infants. “By having the expertise and technology to care for high-risk mothers and premature newborns, we are able to keep more moms, babies and families together.”

The new unit is staffed with a team of neonatologists and pediatricians from Washington University and St. Louis Children’s Hospital, as well as Washington University maternal fetal medicine specialists. The team of physicians work with the patient’s own obstetrician to coordinate care for high-risk pregnant mothers. The team also includes neonatal nurses with advanced training to take care of prematurely born babies.

The Childbirth Center at Progress West Hospital features large, private suites designed to meet the entire spectrum of birthing needs, from labor and delivery to recovery and postpartum, with accommodations for an overnight guest. Other amenities for families include dining on call and free Wi-Fi.

To schedule a tour or to take a virtual tour of the Childbirth Center at Progress West Hospital, visit