Centers of Excellence
Thousands of children begin their long journey in life every year at MITERA, and the scientific team of the Neonatology Department stands by them every day, offering excellent perinatal care.
The Department monitors newborns who stay close to their mother and do not require hospitalization in the MITERA Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Day and night, seventeen experienced and qualified Pediatricians/Neonatologists work with the attending Obstetricians/Gynecologists, midwives and maternity ward nurses, to offer comprehensive and multifaceted care to mothers and their babies, while informing parents about their newborn’s development throughout their stay at MITERA.
Newborns are examined daily. Their weight, nutrition, temperature, bowel movements and oxygen saturation are monitored systematically and their jaundice is evaluated, with the option of phototherapy if the normal range is exceeded.
The Department paves the way in Greece in promoting breastfeeding and reinforcing the bond between mother and child.
Breastfeeding is promoted in every way possible:
- It commences immediately after childbirth, so that it is learned properly and effectively.
- The option of mothers and infants rooming in is provided, which offers calmness and security, strengthens the bond between mother and baby, and assists in establishing breastfeeding.
- The experienced midwives of the MITERA breastfeeding team help every new mother breastfeed her baby.
At MITERA, screening tests for newborns are carried out with the Guthrie card, as required by the Ministry of Health, while a special check-up is recommended for the early detection of any health problems of the newborn.
The check-up includes:
- Newborn Genetic Metabolic Disease Screening
During the screening, 51 genetic disorders are detected, in addition to the mandatory screening required by the Greek Institute of Child Health. If these disorders are not diagnosed early, they may lead to serious health problems.
Early diagnosis and treatment allows babies to develop in the best possible manner, both physically and mentally. Only a few drops of blood are required for the test, while the results are given to parents upon discharge.
- Otoacoustic Emission Hearing Test
Congenital hearing loss has a prevalence rate of 3‰ to 5‰ globally and is one of the most common congenital disorders. Otoacoustic emissions is the latest development in the area of Otology worldwide. Presence of otoacoustic emissions correlates with normal hearing. The test ensures early detection and treatment of newborns with hearing loss or deafness, which is pivotal in speech development, as well as in mental and cognitive development. It is performed within the first few days of life, while the baby is asleep. It is a non-invasive, fast and safe procedure. The reliability of the results is quite high.
- Hip Ultrasound
This neonatal ultrasound test assists in the early and reliable diagnosis of Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip, a common condition with unclear causes to date. It may be detected in utero and appears after birth, at a rate of 2%. A hip ultrasound, coupled with a physical exam, assists in diagnosing the condition, while future problems in walking may be avoided with immediate and simple treatment – completely painless for the baby. At MITERA, the test is performed using quality ultrasound equipment, and it is safe, painless and fast. The test is performed after the first month of the neonate’s life.
- Eye Exam
It is considered very useful for newborns and is performed just before the baby is discharged from hospital. The test initially examines whether the eyes have developed properly, while it also detects any congenital disorders. Newborns are also tested for conjunctivitis and nasolacrimal duct obstruction (6% of babies are diagnosed with obstruction). Finally, eye exams are absolutely necessary for preterm babies, in order to diagnose and treat a common retina disorder encountered in preterm babies, known as retinopathy of prematurity.
- Heart Exam
About 8 in 1,000 children are born with congenital heart disease. Many times, heart disease is not clinically evident in the first days of life, but develops within the first weeks of the newborn’s life. For this reason, MITERA offers the option of a heart exam for newborns, which includes: clinical examination, oxygen saturation recording, ECG and color Doppler ultrasound (triplex).
This test is preferably performed after the second day of life, does not cause pain or discomfort to the newborn, and does not involve radiation. At the end of the assessment, a detailed report is issued by the Pediatric Cardiologist and advice is given to the Pediatrician, if deemed necessary.
If there are indications for re-examination, the newborns undergo
additional screening, after talking with the parents.
Additionally, the Neonatology Department works closely with all pediatric subspecialties (pediatric surgeons, orthopedic specialists, ENT specialists, ophthalmologists, cardiologists, etc.) who identify and offer solutions to any problems, while it also assists the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of MITERA, which is ranked among the best Units globally.
The state-of-the-art HYGEIA & MITERA clinical labs perform all lab and paraclinical tests for newborns.
Guidelines for parents
The MITERA scientific team offers clear guidelines to the parents before they are discharged from the Maternity Clinic. These include tips on the nutrition and the development of the child, umbilical cord and skin care, and the smooth integration of both the mother and the child upon discharge.
Particular attention is paid in providing information to parents about when they should contact their pediatrician, immediately or by appointment, in the first days after their discharge from the Clinic.
Contact your pediatrician immediately if you notice:
- sticky eyes or swollen eyelids;
- baby acne;
- smelly umbilical cord, redness around it, brownish ooze, delayed healing;
- yellow mucous discharge from the nose;
- coughing or shortness of breath;
- excessive vomiting, diarrhea, mucus or blood in their bowel movements;
- anxiety or sluggishness, not breastfeeding or drinking milk;
- their skin color not looking healthy, i.e. blue or pale;
- jaundice lasting longer than 10-15 days from birth, or even becoming more intense over time.