The birth of a baby is a wonderful and very complex process. Many physical and emotional changes occur for both mother and baby. A baby must make many physical adjustments to life outside the mother’s body. Leaving the uterus means that a baby can no longer depend on the mother’s blood supply and placenta for important body functions.
Neonatal nursing is a sub-specialty of nursing care for newborn infants up to 28 days after birth. The term neonatal comes from neo, “new”, and natal, “pertaining to birth or origin”. Neonatal nursing requires a high degree of skill, dedication and emotional strength as they care for newborn infants with a range of problems. These problems vary between prematurity, birth defects, infection, cardiac malformations and surgical issues. Neonatal nurses are a vital part of the neonatal care team and are required to know basic newborn resuscitation, be able to control the newborn’s temperature and know how to initiate cardiopulmonary and pulse oximetry monitoring. Most neonatal nurses care for infants from the time of birth until they are discharged from the hospital.