The birth of a baby is a wonderful and very complex process. Many physical and emotional changes occur for both mother and baby. When babies are Born early, have health problems, or a difficult birth they go to the hospital's NICU. The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) has specialist medical staff and equipment to care for premature and sick newborn babies. This part of the hospital is sometimes called the intensive care nursery or newborn intensive care unit. Before birth, the baby depends on functions from the mother. These include breathing, eating, elimination of waste, and immune protection.