Neonatal Intensive Care

The birth of a baby is a wonderful yet very complex process. Many physical and emotional changes occur for 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 circulation and placenta for important physiologic functions.

Baby in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

Before birth, breathing, eating, elimination of waste, and immunologic protection all came from the mother. When a baby enters the world, many body systems change dramatically from the way they functioned during fetal life:

  • The lungs must breathe air.


  • The cardiac and pulmonary circulation changes.


  • The digestive system must begin to process food and excrete waste.


  • The kidneys must begin working to balance fluids and chemicals in the body and excrete waste.


  • The liver and immunologic systems must begin functioning independently.