Neonatology is the medical speciality devoted to the care of ill or premature newborn infants, who require special medical care due to prematurity, low birth weight, intrauterine growth retardation, congenital malformations (birth defects), sepsis, pulmonary hyperplasia or birth asphyxias. This care often extends to providing support to the families of such patients, and is practised in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs).