Résumé : A multidisciplinary team for antenatal prevention of child abuse and neglect has been created in 1979 in the department of obstetrics of the Saint-Pierre hospital in Brussels. Some newborns at risk were decided to be hospitalised in the neonatal unit (according to previously established criteria). Of the 6,000 deliveries that occurred in our department during a four year period (1979-1983), 51 newborns transited through the neonatal unit. Our results indicate that: 1) In contrast with current believes, the passage in the neonatal unit does not contribute to abnormal maternal-child relationship including rejection, neglect and battering. 2) Though the passage to the neonatal unit is usually considered by professionals as a major obstacle to the establishment of a good mother-child relationship, this because of distorsions in parent-child, the prevention team has used the neonatal unit paradoxically, observing and increasing the mother-infant bounding and reducing the risk of baby battering in specific situations. The results will be detailed and illustrated. We conclude that the neonatal unit may have a diagnostical and/or therapeutical function. It can help ameliorating mother-child relationship or preparing to separation in the battered child syndrome.