What is neonatology?

Neonatology is the branch of medicine that studies and takes care of newborn babies within their first hours of life, these are crucial to determine potential future issues and treat them. Perinatal history is influenced by family, physiological, and pathological history.

Neonatal specialists supervise the baby’s vital signs to check that their heart rate, breathing rate and other organs are functioning correctly. These specialists generally work in hospitals and maternity wings to be available at the time of the baby’s birth. When the baby is discharged they continue to be monitored by their paediatrician.

What conditions do they treat?

Generally speaking, specialists in neonatology provide the following types of care:

  • Diagnosing and treating babies with respiratory disorders, infections, and birth defects.
  • Coordinating the care and medical management of premature babies, who may have a critical illness or be in need of surgery.
  • Ensuring that all newborns who are in a critical state receive adequate nutrition to be able to heal and grow properly.  
  • Looking after babies born by caesarean or births that may pose a risk for mother or baby or that could affect the baby’s health and require medical intervention in the delivery room.
  • Stabilise and treat newborns with any medical issue.      

Which specialist is involved in treatment?

Neonatology is a subspeciality within paediatrics which focuses on the care of the first 28 days of the baby’s life.

The specialist who takes care of newborns is a paediatrician specialised in neonatology. The specialist focuses any issues that may arise in the first 28 days of the baby’s life.