As a mother and wife, Maria Barber, DO, cares deeply for the families she serves. She specializes in the health of newborns, especially those who are born ill or prematurely at Avera Medical Group Neonatology in Sioux Falls, SD. Neonatology is a hospital-based specialty found in neonatal intensive care units.
Caring for the Tiniest Patients
Before Dr. Barber entered middle school, she knew she wanted to be a doctor for children. When she went to college, that desire never faded as she continued on her journey toward infant health care.
During her years of practice, she has found that the specialty of neonatology offers a unique variety; it can be hectic and precarious to serene and joyful. She walks alongside parents every step of the way to prepare them for a new way of life of caring for infants who need extra medical care.
Dr. Barber cares for the health of the whole baby, from those born prematurely to those born after the due date has passed. Some of the conditions Dr. Barber addresses include:
- Infant intestinal conditions, especially necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)
- Chronic lung disease
- Pulmonary dysplasia
When parents are anxious about their newborn’s health, Dr. Barber handles the situation by creating a calm, understanding atmosphere. She incorporates her own experiences, talking with both honesty and hope.
Before coming to Avera, Dr. Barber enjoyed the opportunity to study necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a condition which affects the entire gastrointestinal tract of premature infants.
This disease occurs when bacteria attacks the infant’s intestinal wall, causing infection, inflammation and damage. NEC often ends in tragedy, so Dr. Barber hopes she can contribute to the discovery of a cure.
One of the reasons she gladly joined the Avera team was that the hospital system recognized her passion and the importance of her research into this lesser known disease.
Dr. Barber is married with two children. She enjoys spending time with her family and going to local parks and live shows with her family. When they get the chance, she and her husband love to travel.