How can the Best Neonatologist and Pediatrician help when your baby is premature

Being new parents can be exciting and daunting at the same time. It is often a new experience you go through, and you want to do everything right. Being new parents, the foremost thing you should assure is the health of the baby. However, you must also be ready to face several hurdles in your path when it comes to taking care of your baby. Oftentimes, it might so happen that your baby is premature and needs some extra care and medical attention. In this case, only consulting the best Neonatologist and pediatricianf will be helpful, and not just seeking help from a regular physician.

Who is a Neonatologist?

A neonatologist specializes in caring for premature babies and full-term newborn babies with injuries, illness, or birth defects. Neonatologists typically work in hospital neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) and collaborate with other healthcare providers, including obstetrician-gynecologists, pediatricians, pediatric surgeons, nurses, nutritionists, and social workers.

A neonatologist typically:

  • Examines the newborn baby and evaluates his or her medical history including the mom’s medical history before and during pregnancy

  • Provides primary healthcare services and immunizations in the hospital

  • Orders and interprets laboratory and imaging tests

  • Diagnoses and treats diseases and conditions affecting a newborn baby’s health

  • Assesses growth and development

  • Prescribes medications

  • Educates the baby’s parents or caretakers about wellness and disease prevention

  • Consults with other members of the patient’s medical and team

  • Provides ongoing neonatal care in the hospital NICU

Neonatologists may also be known by the following names: baby doctor, newborn pediatrician, newborn doctor, newborn intensive care doctor, and NICU doctor.

Who can consult a Neonatologist?

If your baby is born prematurely or full term with illnesses, birth defects, or injuries, a neonatologist will likely be caring for him or her in the hospital. A neonatologist may also be involved in your pregnancy care if your baby is diagnosed with a problem before birth. If you are unable to find a good Neonatologist, we at icareheal will help you to find one right at the moment of your need.

If your doctor knows that your baby has a problem while you are pregnant, a neonatologist may already be in attendance during the birth in order to care for your baby immediately. Otherwise, a neonatologist will see your baby as soon as possible after birth.

When must you consult a Neonatologist?

You should consider seeking care from a neonatologist under the following situations:

  • Your baby has been diagnosed with a disease or condition while you are still pregnant. A neonatologist can help you prepare for birth and develop a plan to best care for your baby during birth and immediately afterward.

  • Your baby is born prematurely (before 37 weeks of pregnancy).

  • Your baby is born with a congenital (birth) defect.

  • Your baby is injured in utero (during pregnancy) or during the birth process.

  • Your baby is born with a serious illness or infection, such as meningitis or pneumonia.

If your baby’s condition is not diagnosed until birth, the neonatologist caring for your baby may be an unfamiliar doctor to you. However, if you are pregnant and already know your baby will be premature or has a congenital defect or other condition that will require specialized care at birth, you can research different hospitals and the neonatologists on staff to ensure you will be treated by a qualified and experienced neonatologist.

What are some of the Conditions and Diseases that a Neonatologist can treat?

A neonatologist treats or recommends treatments for conditions and diseases including:

  • Blood and vascular conditions including anemia (low red blood cells) and retinopathy of prematurity (abnormal blood vessels in the eye)

  • Brain problems including seizures, hydrocephalus (water on the brain), and intraventricular hemorrhage (bleeding in the brain)

  • Congenital defects (birth defects) including genetic problems and malformations of the digestive tract, mouth, face, arms, legs, heart, spinal cord, or brain

  • Digestive and nutrition-related conditions including hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), poor feeding due to lack of ability to suck or swallow, intrauterine growth restriction (smaller than normal for gestational age), macrosomia (excessive birth weight usually due to maternal diabetes), and necrotizing enterocolitis (death of parts of the intestine)

  • Heart disorders including heart failure and patent ductus arteriosus (when a blood vessel needed before birth fails to close normally after birth)

  • Infections including pneumonia, group B Streptococcus, meningitis, and sepsis

  • Injuries in uterus or during birth including brain, shoulder, and leg injuries

  • Liver and kidney problems including jaundice and kidney failure

  • Lung and breathing problems including respiratory failure, apnea, persistent pulmonary hypertension (failure of the circulatory system to adapt to breathing air after birth), perinatal asphyxia (lack of oxygen during birth), and neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (RDS, when the lungs have not yet fully developed)

What are some procedures or treatments that a Neonatologist might perform or order to get done?

Neonatologists order or perform numerous procedures and treatments to manage newborn babies’ health conditions. Neonatologists will often consult with several other healthcare providers, including obstetrician-gynecologists, pediatricians, pediatric surgeons, radiologists, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurses, nutrition therapists, respiratory therapists, and social workers. If your baby needs major surgery to correct a birth defect or other condition, your neonatologist will likely consult a specialized surgeon, such as a congenital cardiac surgeon. Common procedures and treatments for newborns under the care of a neonatologist include:

  • Breathing treatments including medications to help the lungs mature, suctioning, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), ventilators, and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO, a type of artificial lung)

  • Counseling and social support including individual and family counseling and support services during your baby’s NICU stay

  • Developmental care including co-bedding of multiple birth babies, kangaroo care (skin-to-skin contact with a parent), minimizing stimulation from lights and noise, and helping the baby develop a normal circadian rhythm (wake-sleep cycle)

  • General health procedures including physical examination and immunization

  • Intravenous (IV) or umbilical line treatments including administration of fluids, blood transfusions, antibiotics, and other medications

  • Minor surgical procedures including repairs of injuries incurred during birth and minor birth defects

  • Nutritional support including feeding tubes to maintain normal weight and growth and lactation consultation to start breastfeeding as soon as possible, even for critically ill or premature babies

  • Phototherapy (light therapy) to treat jaundice by reducing the amount of bilirubin in the blood

  • Warming treatments including incubators, isolettes, and radiant heat warmers for premature infants who have difficulty maintaining their body temperature

When your infant is premature, it is very stressful and causes a lot of anxiety. If you can find the best Neonatologist and pediatrician for your baby, you will surely get off the stress for sometime, and secure a safe and happy life for your child.