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Neonatal Care

Neonatal care is a specialty of newborn care that focuses on the monitoring and medical care of infants who are premature, low weight, weak, ill or have a medical condition that needs constant attention. Neonatal intensive-care units (NICU) or intensive care nursery (ICN) are facilities within a hospital that are designed to house, monitor and care for newborns who need neonatal care. Neonatal newborns are cared for here until they are healthy enough to be introduced to less controlled environments.


NICUs usually have at least one neonatologist (pediatrician who specializes in neonatal care), a staff of nurses, nurse practitioners and other medical professionals specializing in neonatal care. Pharmacists, respiratory therapists and other specialists are also commonly available in NICUs to provide specialized care to your newborn. At Kernodle Clinicour pediatricians and nurse practitioners can work with the NICU staff to provide your child with personal care. This extra support that Kernodle can provide assures that your child is being monitored by people you trust.


NICUs and ICNs have 4 different levels of neonatal care. These levels of care are used to organize and specialize the care provided to infants.

Transitional Care- Transitional care is for newborns who may need some medical attention, but are healthy enough to receive care at their mother’s side.

Low Dependency- This level of care is for newborns who do not need continuous monitoring. Low dependency newborns are usually growing and in stable condition.

High Dependency- High dependency is a level of care for newborns with less serious problems. However, these newborns need close observation and support to recover from illness and medical conditions.

Intensive Care- Intensive care is for newborns who have serious medical conditions and/or illness. These newborns are typically premature by more than three months, have dangerously low birth weight and/or very serious medical conditions.


The goal of neonatal care is to make sure that your newborn is healthy and prepared to grow and develop without medical assistance. There are a couple vital functions your newborn must be able to perform before neonatal care goals are met:

  • Lungs must function properly and breathing is self-sufficient
  • Full cardiac function
  • Complete processing and digesting of food
  • Full kidney function and waste excretion
  • Liver function
  • Immunologic system function

Kernodle Clinic in Burlington, Elon and Mebane, NC provides routine neonatal care for your newborn. Contact us today to set up a pediatrician interview, and talk with our pediatricians about your goals for your pregnancy, neonatal care and continued medical care of your child.

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