The syndrome of hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and low platelet count (HELLP syndrome) is a severe form of preeclampsia and eclampsia. To compare the impact of HELLP syndrome and hypertension in pregnancy (HIP) on neonatal morbidity and mortality, 11 infants born to mothers with HELLP syndrome were recruited between 1993 and 1997 from neonatal records. They were compared to 11 infants born to mothers with HIP and 11 control infants born to healthy mothers matched for gestational age, postnatal age and gender. Cesarean section rate was higher in the HELLP group than in the controls (p < 0.05). HELLP group infants had lower Apgar scores (54.5% < 1 at 5(th) min), than controls (9.1%) (p < 0.05). Both HELLP and HIP group infants showed a higher incidence of intrauterine growth retardation (63.6% and 54.5%, respectively) than the controls (9.1%) (p < 0.05). The incidence of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) was similar in HELLP and HIP groups and was greater than that in controls (p = NS). Additionally, the neonatal death rate was the highest in the HELLP group (p = NS).