What is a Neonatologist?
Although your pediatrician can solve most health problems of newborns, a Neonatologist is trained specifically to handle the most complex and high-risk situations.
If your newborn is premature, or has a serious illness, injury, or birth defect, a neonatologist may assist at the time of delivery and in the subsequent care of your newborn. If a problem is identified before your baby is born, a neonatologist may become involved to consult with your obstetrician in your baby’s care during your pregnancy.
What Types of Treatments Do Neonatologists Provide?
Neonatologists generally provide the following care:
- Diagnose and treat newborns with conditions such as breathing disorders, infections, and birth defects.
- Coordinate care and medically manage newborns born premature, critically ill, or in need of surgery.
- Ensure that critically ill newborns receive the proper nutrition for healing and growth.
- Provide care to the newborn at a cesarean or other delivery that involves medical problems in the mother or baby that may compromise the infant’s health and require medical intervention in the delivery room.
- Stabilize and treat newborns with any life-threatening medical problems.
- Consult with obstetricians, pediatricians, and family physicians about conditions affecting newborn infants.
Neonatologists work mainly in the special care nurseries or newborn intensive care units of hospitals. In some cases, after a newborn has been discharged from the unit, a neonatologist may provide short-term follow-up care on an outpatient basis. Your neonatologist will coordinate care with your baby’s pediatrician.