Newborn care: the difference between a Neonatalogist and a Paediatrician

When it comes to newborn care, understanding the difference between a Neonatalogist and a Paediatrician is essential. A Neonatalogist is a specialist who provides medical care for newborns, while a Paediatrician is a specialist who focuses on providing care for children from infancy through adolescence. In this article, we will explore the differences between these two specialists and the role each plays in newborn care.

What Does a Neonatologist Do?

A neonatologist is a medical doctor specializing in the care of newborn infants, particularly those who are considered to be at high risk for developing medical or surgical problems. 

As part of newborn care, a neonatologist is responsible for providing specialized and advanced medical and surgical care to premature or sick babies. They work closely with paediatricians and other specialists in order to provide the best possible care for the baby. Neonatalogists also provide guidance and support to the families of their patients.

Neonatologists are specially trained and certified in the medical field of neonatology, which includes intensive care and management of newborns and premature infants. They must complete medical school (MBBS), followed by three years of paediatrics training and two or three more years of speciality training in neonatology. During this time, they are taught to assess, diagnose, and treat conditions that affect newborns. In addition, they learn to provide comprehensive prenatal care to mothers and their unborn babies, as well as to evaluate their post-natal care needs.

How is a Paediatrician different from a Neonatologist?

A paediatrician is a doctor who specializes in the care of infants, children and adolescents. They can provide preventive care such as immunizations and check-ups, diagnose and treat illnesses and diseases, and monitor growth and development. They often work closely with families to help ensure the best possible outcome for their patients.

A Neonatologist, on the other hand, provides the following newborn care services:

  1. Diagnose and care for newborns with medical conditions that include breathing disorders, infections, and birth defects.
  2. Manage and coordinate the medical care and treatment of newborns born premature, critically ill, or in need of surgery.
  3. Keep track of the nutritional requirements of critically ill newborns to ensure they are responding well to the treatment and are healing and growing normally.
  4. Intervene to care for the newborn at the time of a cesarean or other delivery that have medical complications in the mother or baby that may affect the infant’s health and require medical care in the delivery room.
  5. Stabilize and treat newborns with any critical medical problems.
  6. Consult with obstetricians, pediatricians, and family physicians about medical history, and past and current treatments affecting newborn infants.

Unlike paediatricians, neonatalogists usually work in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of a hospital. There, they focus on the care of the newborns and may spend extended periods of time with them in order to provide round-the-clock monitoring and medical care. Paediatricians may consult with neonatalogists on cases or when an infant or child needs specialised care, but will not usually work directly with the patient in the NICU.

When do you need to see a neonatalogist?

It is important to understand when it is necessary to see a neonatalogist, as this will help you to provide your baby with the best possible care. A neonatalogist is a specialist doctor who works exclusively with babies from birth up to 28 days old. This medical expert can offer a higher level of care than a general practitioner or paediatrician, as they are specifically trained to diagnose and treat newborns. 

If your baby is born prematurely or has any kind of medical complication or risk, such as a low birth weight, heart problems or a birth defect, your doctor will likely refer you to a neonatalogist. This specialist can monitor your baby’s progress and provide expert advice on how to manage their condition. The neonatalogist will also be responsible for any necessary treatments and will work with your paediatrician in the long-term care of your child.

If your baby is born with a genetic disorder, a neonatalogist may be consulted in order to help diagnose the condition and plan for treatment. Neonatalogists are also able to carry out specialized tests that are not available in general practice, such as ultrasounds and MRI scans.

Overall, it is important to understand when you need to see a neonatalogist, as this will help ensure that your baby receives the highest level of medical care available. If you are concerned about your baby’s health or development and seeking an experienced neonatalogist in Mumbai, book an appointment with us to provide you with support and care for you and your baby.

Need to learn more about high-risk pregnancies, read this article to know more about it, treatment recommendations and how to avoid them.