A neonatologist is a medical professional who specialises in caring for newborn babies, particularly those who are ill or born prematurely. They may also provide antenatal consultation for women with certain risk factors, such as multiple births.
Neonatologists first train as paediatricians (doctors who specialise in caring for infants, children and adolescents), and then further specialise in caring for newborns. Neonatologists usually work in neonatal intensive care units in large public maternity hospitals or children’s hospitals.
- Antenatal consultation (consultation during pregnancy) for women with certain risk factors, such as multiple births
- Care/intensive care for unwell or premature newborns
- Care co-ordination and planning for critically ill or premature newborns
- Neonatal nutrition
- Assessment of babies in hospital postnatal wards
- Follow-up clinics after birth – for example for premature babies
- Antenatal and bereavement counselling
If your baby needs extra support in hospital, your obstetrician or paediatrician will refer them to a neonatologist.
How to access
Ask your doctor about how to make an appointment with your neonatologist.
Neonatologist services may be partly or fully covered by Medicare.
Neonatologist fees are covered by some private health funds, but the amount will depend on your insurance policy. Contact your insurer for more information.