Neonatal-perinatal medicine focuses on intensive care for premature babies or critically ill newborns. Doctors who provide these services are called neonatologists. The neonatologists at MaineHealth are highly skilled and passionate about caring for newborns and mothers with high-risk pregnancies.
What do neonatologists do?
Neonatologists care for fragile infants, including babies born prematurely, with a birth defect or a serious illness. All of these factors put babies at a higher risk for further health complications. They stabilize newborns, make sure that they are getting the best nutrition to heal and grow, and treat medical conditions.
Neonatologists at Maine Medical Center
The neonatologists at MaineHealth work in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Maine Medical Center in Portland. The care team includes anesthesiologists, neonatologists and pediatric surgeons available 24 hours a day. They have the skills, expertise and compassion to care for the most fragile infants. The health of babies is their top priority.
The NICU at Maine Medical Center is the only one in Maine supported by the March of Dimes Family Support Program. We have a staff member who focuses on the parents and their needs.
Conditions treated in the NICU
Your baby’s care team will discuss your baby’s progress and options with you and your family. They partner with parents and caregivers for the best outcomes. The following are conditions treated in the NICU:
- Premature birth
- Birth defects (including spina bifida, cleft lip, and congenital heart disease)
- Omphalocele (defect of the abdominal wall that makes some of the abdominal organs protrude outside of their body)
- Gastroschisis (defect of the abdominal wall that makes the intestines protrude outside of the body)
- Tracheoesophageal fistula (affects the connection between the windpipe and esophagus)
- Breathing problems or trouble with airways
- Perinatal asphyxia (the baby is not getting enough oxygen at birth)
- Kidney diseases
- Conditions that need complex surgery
There are different treatment options unique to each specific health condition, and your doctor will be happy to discuss them with you.
Our expert care teams are prepared to a treat a wide variety of health conditions that may affect newborns. We work closely with mothers-to-be who have a high-risk pregnancy. We monitor them throughout their pregnancy and keep a close eye on the growth and development of their baby.
There are several factors that might put you at risk for a high-risk pregnancy, meaning that your baby might be at risk of being born prematurely or being born with a health condition. These factors include:
- Drinking alcohol
- Using illegal drugs
- Being older than age 35
- Kidney problems
- Heart disease
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Autoimmune disorders
- Health conditions (diabetes, anemia, epilepsy, cancer, high blood pressure)
- Medical history (had a C-section before or premature baby)
- Family medical history of genetic conditions
- Being pregnant with twins or multiples
- Restricted fetal growth
- Rhesus sensitization
- Pregnancy complications