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Neonatologist: what it is and functions

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

A neonatologist is a doctor who specializes in caring for the health of a newborn. Neonatology is a branch of pediatrics that deals with diseases and disorders in newborns and, therefore, deals with the care of newborns. Babies are cared for by a pediatrician after they have been discharged from the hospital.

Although most pediatricians can also be trained to deal with most health complications of a newborn, the neonatologist is the doctor specifically specialized for those complicated and risky situations, for example, in the case of premature babies, with illness or injury.

Do you want to know what a neonatologist is and the functions it has? Keep reading the following FastlyHealarticle and we will explain it to you.

What is neonatology

Although unknown by many people, neonatology is one of the most relevant medical specialties since its field of work is that of newborns , with all the complications and significance that this entails.

As we can all guess, from birth and during the first months of the baby’s life, proper development is very important for the present and future health of the child, an adequate treatment at this stage will guarantee a safe and full development of the baby .

Neonatology, in reality, is nothing more than a branch of pediatrics . In fact, a neonatologist is a pediatrician who has specialized in the health of newborns, although that does not mean that all pediatricians are neonatologists.

Unlike other specialties, neonatology only takes place within hospital settings and not in outpatient settings. This is mainly due to the machinery and equipment needed to care for babies. On the other hand, it is carried out from the moment of birth and until discharge, at which time pediatrics take over and it can be practiced in outpatient centers.

Many parents are scared when hearing the term neonatologist, but you have to know that unlike other medical areas such as traumatology it does not refer to any health condition or complication but is only a term given by the nature of the patient. In fact, in most cases, what they do is monitor the health of the newborns and check that everything is developing in the strictest normality.

This does not mean that in different cases, neonatologists have to face complex situations, for example, when there is a premature baby or babies with health complications, for which they are also prepared.

Neonatologists: functions

Premature babies, newborns with health problems sometimes have to stay in the hospital for several days or even months. The neonatologist takes care of these little ones. Large hospitals have a neonatal intensive care unit and neonatologists work there. Some of the functions that neonatologists perform are:

  • Screen and treat children with life-threatening birth defects, injuries, illnesses, and conditions.
  • Planning treatment in advance (before the baby is born) when there is a known risk that a baby will be born needing to stay in the intensive care unit
  • Caring for Newborns, Critically Ill Babies, and Premature Babies
  • Constant monitoring, as most sick babies have breathing problems
  • Management of complicated situations, such as heart defects, brain malformations, or gastrointestinal malformations in newborns
  • Consult with other surgeons and refer the patient to them
  • Prescription of medicines and maintenance of the registry of patients and their corresponding treatments
  • Inform parents of sick children about their health status and treatment. You should also inform them of the special care they should provide, especially in hygiene matters to prevent infections.

When to see a neonatologist

A newborn baby cannot be understood as a small adult. Both his body and his organs are still in training and to treat it requires specific knowledge and experience. This is especially remarkable in the case of babies born before their bodies are fully formed and ready to leave the mother’s womb. There are cases in which vital organs such as the lungs, the heart, the skin or the stomach are not as mature as they should be to be able to function autonomously and without external help.

It is precisely in these cases when the help of a neonatology specialist is required , a professional who has the knowledge that is needed to be able to diagnose, evaluate and initiate treatment for any type of medical problem that occurs with a newborn.

If the pediatrician believes that your child should be cared for by a neonatologist, do not be nervous, in his hands your baby will have the best and most specific care.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Neonatologist: what it is and its functions , we recommend that you enter our Medical Dictionary category .

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