The diagnosis and management of a suspected sick infant frequently starts before birth, when a fetal life-threatening condition is diagnosed during the pregnancy.
Prenatal conferences to discuss fetal and neonatal medical care often include obstetricians, neonatologists, geneticists, and other subspecialists including palliative care team members.
These conferences may reach high levels of complexity, involving not only the physical aspects of the fetal condition, but also the psychosocial, emotional, cultural, and religious challenges for the parents and their families.
Some infants may have undergone surgical procedures during fetal life.
Decisions about limitations of resuscitation and maximization of comfort care may have occurred prenatally.