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Neonatology refers to the medical care of newborn babies, especially those born prematurely. Dr Maraschin was fortunate enough to work in the neonatal ICU unit at Chris Hani Baragwaneth Hospital for 18 months during his paediatric training. This is where his passion for neonatology arose. The knowledge and experience he gained at Chris Hani Baragwaneth has allowed him to continue caring for premature babies in private practice.

Premature babies are those born before 37 weeks of pregnancy. The earlier a baby is born the greater chance there is of developing complications associated with prematurity. It is his experience that Mom and Dad become parents prematurely as well. The experience is very difficult for all concerned. While modern medicine has substantially improved the long term outcome of premature babies, the immediate medical concerns, trauma to the baby and to the parents and the often unexpected medical costs associated with a preterm birth elevates the stress for all concerned.

Bear in mind that not all premature babies will go through all of the complications and will be home with Mom and Dad not too long after birth. For others the struggles are prolonged. Dealing with the complications is the responsibility of the medical team. Over and above this, the role and level of involvement of the parents is of utmost importance for both the physical and psychological outcome of a premature baby.

Born too soon

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