Neonatal medicine was officially initiated in the United States of America in 1973, and in the same year, the American Board of Pediatrics held the first subspecialty examination in the field of neonatal-perinatal medicine. The first Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Tehran began its work with great efforts of Prof. Hadi Samaee at Ali-Asghar Children's Hospital, approved by the Ministry of Health as the first standard center for training neonatologists. Hence, the first neonatology fellowship program began in 1986 and two years later (1988) its graduate started work at Ali-Asghar Children's Hospital. Afterwards, more NICUs were built all over the country and equipped gradually. The Iranian Association of Neonatology and Perinatology were founded in 1998 and 2003, respectively. These two scientific associations jointly made recommendations to health officials to develop consistent educational programs for neonatal and maternal health promotion in Iran. Regionalization of maternal-neonatal health services was also another recommendation which has now been presented to the Ministry of Health as a national program to promote neonatal and maternal health status. Thanks to the measures taken so far over the last few years, the index of neonatal mortality has declined from 26 per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 11 per 1,000 live births in 2012.