What does neonatal care involve and how can I support my child’s development?

Written by: Dr Olga Kapellou
Edited by: Robert Smith

Dr Olga Kapellou is a highly regarded consultant paediatrician and neonatologist who takes great pride in providing necessary care to newborn babies who require specialist treatment. We recently spoke with her to discuss some of the treatments she offers.


Have a read of this interview to discover how she can be of assistance if you’re expecting a newborn soon or if you’re currently raising a child and you’re concerned about any health issues they may face.

We’d love to know more about your expertise. What does your practice as a consultant paediatrician and a neonatologist entail?

I offer unique expertise that has been developed to ensure that I am able to offer the very best advanced assessments and treatment to children who may experience health problems at birth until much later. You can visit my Top Doctors profile for a list of the services I offer.

Alongside my work at the NHS, I have a private practice at London's prestigious Portland Hospital. I work closely with a multidisciplinary team to ensure comprehensive care is given when appropriate.

I treat newborns who will need admission to the neonatal unit a well as infants and older children.


What conditions do you treat?

The conditions I treat are wide ranging, I care for children experiencing common paediatric symptoms and complex symptoms, including:

  • Reflux
  • Colics
  • Cow's milk protein allergy
  • Faltering growth
  • Rashes
  • Development issues

What problems can arise for newborns?

The majority of births usually occur smoothly. However, problems can occasionally arise and require admission to a neonatal unit. It's often related to multiple pregnancies or growth restriction. One in 13 newborns are born early and usually have a low birth weight. Often in these cases, the neonatologist liaises with the obstetrician, attends the delivery and stabilises the newborn baby.

Sometimes unexpected problems arise at birth, for example, due to an infection or, in rare cases, more severe issues that may lead to brain injury for the baby. Newborn babies benefit greatly from the very latest diagnostic procedures such as newborn brain MRI and early therapy interventions. These optimise the outcome and help children achieve their full potential.

How do you help ensure that parents support their child’s development?

It's vital that I communicate with the parents in a way that is compassionate whilst supporting ongoing medical needs. I often offer annual check-ups as there can be very useful for assessing nutritional status, growth, development and any condition that may affect or interfere with wellbeing and school performance.

Parents are responsible for making the biggest difference in their child's life, and it’s an absolute privilege to be able to offer the support they need.

All children develop their skills, strength and abilities as they progress throughout childhood and beyond. Most babies do remarkably well, even following complications. It's mine and my team's duty to help them fulfil their potential.


If you require assistance from a paediatrician and neonatologist, we recommend getting in contact with Dr Olga Kapellou who is highly experienced. Click here for additional information related to her main areas of expertise and appointment availability.

By Dr Olga Kapellou

Dr Olga Kapellou is a renowned Consultant Paediatrician and Neonatologist operating in the London area. Her areas of expertise include general paediatrics, newborn physical examinations, child constipation and diarrhoea, rashes in babies and coughing and breathing problems. She is also an expert in preterm and term neonatal brain injury as well as follow-up after complicated pregnancies.

Dr Kapellou graduated from the National Capodistrian University of Athens in 1995. She then was awarded an MD by Imperial College London and went on to specialise in some of the UK’s most prestigious teaching hospitals, including Great Ormond Street, St Mary’s and Hammersmith.

She has an active research interest in preterm and term brain injury, therapeutic hypothermia for perinatal asphyxia and neurodevelopmental outcomes. Her publications on the effects of prematurity on brain growth and development have been cited extensively.

As well as being a skilled consultant, Dr Kapellou is a Neonatal Life Support instructor and Unicef trained breastfeeding specialist and uses the Griffiths Neurodevelopmental Scales to track infant development in outpatient clinics. She is a highly-trained and knowledgeable professional, who offers the best possible care using the most up-to-date techniques.

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