If your baby arrives early or has unexpected problems at the time of delivery, a specially trained physician called a neonatologist may provide care for your baby. A neonatologist is a physician who has specialized in pediatrics and then has further medical training in neonatal (newborn) care.

Juan M. Bossano, MD, a physician with the Children’s Clinic, who is board certified in pediatrics and neonatology, provides neonatal intensive care for at risk and high-risk newborns requiring highly skilled intensive medical care.

Dr. Bossano attends high-risk deliveries and cesarean sections as well as 24-hour emergency transport services from hospitals in the surrounding area. He participates in developmental follow-up at Kids Team, a division of Women & Children’s Hospital, for graduates of NICU who are at risk for development delay. Dr. Bossano, Medical Director of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at both Lake Area Medical Center and Lake Charles Memorial Hospital for Women, is available at all area hospitals and is close at hand to care for newborns with unexpected problems.

The NICU is a special care area where highly trained nurses and other specialists give around the clock care to babies who are too sick to take home. This kind of care is too involved to provide in a standard newborn nursery. Not all hospitals have NICU’s. Some babies are transferred from the facility in which they were born to the NICU of another hospital. In this area, two hospitals provide that care, Lake Charles Memorial Hospital for Women and Lake Area Medical Center. Dr. Bossano takes care of babies in both places.

Most of the time, infants go to the NICU simply because they were born too soon. About half of the time, no one knows why the baby was born early. Usually, it is not a result of something the mother did or did not do. Possible reasons for being born too early include complications during pregnancy, problems with the womb, high blood pressure, poor diet, or infection. Sometimes the cord that connects the baby and the mother pulls away from the wall of the womb. Twins and other multiple births often arrive early. Sometimes infants need to stay in the NICU because of something that occurred during birth or because an organ doesn’t function the way it should.

Although a stay in the NICU is not what anyone wishes for their baby, Dr. Bossano and the NICU are there to help if you need it.