Special Delivery Unit team: Who you will meet | The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment

Special Delivery Unit Team

Mothers receiving care at The Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment at Children's Hospital can deliver their babies in the Garbose Family Special Delivery Unit, the world’s first birth facility created exclusively for mothers carrying babies with known birth defects.

In the Special Delivery Unit, patients are cared for by our highly specialized staff of obstetricians, fetal surgeons, anesthesiologists, neonatologists, fetal cardiologists, advanced practice nurses, OB and neonatal nurses, genetic counselors, social workers and others.

Who you may meet

The following lists some of the professionals you may meet in the Special Delivery Unit. For a listing of team members and links to biographical information, go to meet our team.


Attending Physician

A senior doctor who is in charge of the care of you or your baby. This doctor supervises medical treatment and, along with other team members, plans daily care. In the Hospital, an attending physician may be a(n):

Genetic Counselor

Genetic counselors have a master's degree and special training to help families learn about birth defects and conditions passed down through a family. Genetic counselors ask questions about family history and pregnancy history. They explain technical information and review prenatal screening and testing options available.

Neonatal Fellow

A board-certified pediatrician who is receiving intensive clinical training in the care of sick neonates.


CHOP’s nursing team has been awarded Magnet Status for Nursing Excellence, the nursing profession’s highest national recognition, by the American Nursing Credentialing Center (ANCC), an arm of the American Nurses Association. Children’s Hospital was the first pediatric hospital in Pennsylvania to earn Magnet status, a designation less than 8 percent of hospitals nationwide have achieved.

Advanced Practice Nurse  

Advanced practice nurses (APNs), nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and clinical nurse specialists are registered nurses who hold masters' degrees in nursing. All APNs have advanced training — some specifically in the care of women throughout pregnancy, labor, delivery and their hospital stay; others in the care of critically ill neonates; others in pediatrics. 

Registered Nurse

Throughout your hospital stay, you will meet a variety of specialty-trained nurses. Labor and delivery nurses will care for you in the Special Delivery Unit. Operating room nurses will care for you and your baby if you need fetal surgery before birth, or care for your baby if he or she needs surgery after birth. Critical care nurses will provide expert care to your baby in the newborn/infant intensive care unit and cardiac intensive care unit. The Special Delivery Unit and the intensive care units are staffed to ensure continuity of care from the same group of nurses. You will get to know your nurses well!

Nurse Coordinator

Nurse coordinators are registered nurses who coordinate all aspects of your care at the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment. As soon as you are referred to the Center, a coordinator will assist you with pre-consultation services, during your initial consult and for the duration of your care. 

These nurses will also coordinate ongoing care during your pregnancy — including relocation, scheduling appointments and ensuring you and your family receive the support services your need.  

Nurse Manager

A nurse who holds a masters’ degree and provides general leadership for the Special Delivery Unit or one of the intensive care units. This professional is a good resource for discussing your baby’s needs and nursing care, as well as Hospital services.

Charge Nurse

An experienced nurse who coordinates staffing on a unit, arranges patient assignments and is available 24 hours a day to help with any issues.

Lactation Specialist / Breastfeeding Resource Nurse

We have a doctorally-prepared nurse leading the lactation department at CHOP. Diane L. Spatz, PhD, RN-BC, FAAN, is an active clinician, researcher and educator who is world-renown for her expertise in teaching mothers how to produce milk for their children with complex surgical anomalies. Spatz heads a team of lactation specialists and breastfeeding resources nurses who teach new moms how to breastfeed or pump milk for their babies.

These nurses can answer any questions you have about breastfeeding, its benefits to your baby and you, as well as help with details such as renting breast pumps, storing your milk and other issues. For more details about the role of lactation specialists/breastfeeding resource nurses and how they can help you and your child, see breastfeeding.

Support Specialists

Child Life Specialist

A professional trained to help the children of our mothers in the Special Delivery Unit to cope with the birth and hospitalization of their new sibling through play and age-appropriate education. The Hospital also has art and music therapists to help children express their feelings in creative ways. Child life specialists also help with bereavement by assisting families in gathering mementos such as foot prints and photos of their child. For more details about the role of child life specialists and how they can help you and your child, see child life.


A full-time psychologist is dedicated to the psychosocial support of mothers in the Special Delivery Unit. The psychologist can help moms with issues such as postpartum depression, the birth of a child with birth defects and other issues.  

Respiratory Therapist

A specially trained professional who works under a doctor’s guidance in the intensive care units to improve your baby’s breathing capacity and efficiency until the lungs are working properly.

Social Worker

A master's prepared counselor who helps our moms navigate through their pregnancy and get the resources they need. Social workers also work with new moms coping with the hospitalization of a sick infant, locating resources back home and preparing you and your baby for the transition to home. For more details about the role of social workers and how they can help you and your child, see social work.

Other personnel


At The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, we offer the following language services at no cost to you:

Your child's nurse can help you gain access to these services.


Clerks are centrally located at the nurses' station in the Special Delivery Unit and are happy to connect you with the right people to answer your questions.

More information

For a complete list of healthcare professionals involved with the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment, go to meet our team.

March 2012

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