Premature baby care hospital
Pregnancy is complete in 40 weeks, but delivery before the 37th week is premature. If you are expecting, register at Silver Crest Hospital, the best premature baby care hospital in Sec 7 Gurgaon.
Understanding Premature Birth and its Challenges
Babies who are born too early are likely to have health complications. Their symptoms may differ depending on how early their delivery is. The risk of health challenges is the greatest when born before 28 weeks of pregnancy. While some problems are noticeable at birth, many issues appear gradually. Short-term complications involve problems with breathing, heart functions, blood circulation, digestion, temperature, and immune system.
Premature birth can also cause typical health issues in the long run, including:
- Cerebral palsy
- Learning disabilities
- Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP)
- Hearing loss
- Enamel hypoplasia
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
The Role of Healthcare Professionals in Premature Baby Care
Since premature babies have underdeveloped organs and systems, they require more specialized care than other newborns. Healthcare professionals like neonatologists, neonatal nurses, nutritionists, psychologists, and respiratory therapists help nurture their growth.
Medical professionals can identify potential problems, reduce complications, and ensure healthy development. Their dedicated and collaborative efforts are invaluable for babies and their families. In extreme cases, their expertise can even save the lives of premature infants. Besides providing extensive medical care, they provide emotional support to parents during the challenging time.
The Importance of a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
If you give birth to a preterm infant, your baby may have to stay in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). These specialized nursery units have medical professionals available around the clock. The team of healthcare providers in the NICU closely tracks preterm babies’ health day and night.
Soon after birth, your baby may need extra help to feed and adapt to the new environment. Your healthcare team can understand the unique needs and plan for the best recourse for baby care. The NICU team monitors how much fluid your baby consumes via feedings and a vein. Some typical tests a premature baby may require include:
- Blood tests
- Monitoring of vital signs
- Vision check
- Fluid input and output evaluation
Specialized Care and Monitoring for Premature Babies
Medical professionals categorize premature newborns as follows:
- Late preterm (those who take birth between the 34th and 36th week of pregnancy)
- Moderately preterm (infant born between 32nd and 34th week of gestation)
- Very preterm (babies prematurely born between the 28th and 32nd week of pregnancy)
- Extremely preterm (delivery occurring earlier than 28 weeks of pregnancy)
In the late preterm stage, the babies are at high risk. They may struggle to breathe because their lungs didn’t fully develop when they were born. The infant might have trouble breathing if the lungs lack an element that enables the lungs to expand. However, respiratory distress syndrome in preterm babies is treatable under specialized care. Specialists will plan a treatment based on the baby’s condition and constantly track the vital signs, including blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen levels.
Common Medical Interventions for Premature Babies
Not all premature infants experience health challenges, but those born too soon can have short-term and long-term medical issues. Most preterm babies stay in NICU for diagnosis and treatment. Depending on their medical condition, the most likely medical interventions in a premature baby care hospital include the following:
1. Supportive care
Preterm babies may be placed in incubators, fed via tubes, and tracked for vital signs.
If babies get diagnosed with some syndrome, they will receive appropriate medicines.
3. Neonatal surgery
In extreme cases, surgical intervention is necessary to cure the baby’s health problem.
Emotional Support for Parents of Premature Babies
Prolonged hospitalization of premature babies can be stressful for parents. They may go through emotional ups and downs, worrying about their child’s well-being. It is the duty of the staff working in a premature baby care hospital to explain what treatment your baby is having. They should help ease parents’ anxiety and work together to ensure the best medical care for newborns.
After premature delivery, parents may have to go back and forth to the intensive baby care unit regularly. Due to the stress, they might not be sleeping well, and this exhaustion could adversely affect their physical and mental health. You can rest assured that your child is in reliable hands if you place them in a good hospital.
Creating a Bond and Promoting Parent-Infant Interaction
Parent-infant interaction is essential to promote healthy child growth and development, especially when the infant is in the NICU. However, most NICU infants can not be hugged or cuddled because of their delicate condition. The neonatal staff has to look for alternative approaches to avoid containment holds or hand hugs. The family has to work with NICU staff to keep their baby’s world as calm and comfy as possible.
Some strategies adopted for promoting parent-child closeness in intensive medical care units include the following:
- Feeding as directed by the nurse
- Touching the baby gently once in a while
- Speaking quietly
- Maintaining eye contact
- Seeing the child and learning their cues
- Trying responsive communication
Promoting Feeding and Nutrition in Premature Babies
Feeding (nutrition) is an integral part of the overall treatment plan for premature babies. Compared to full-term babies, they need to gain weight more quickly and consume more nutrients. However, they may require some feeding assistance because their digestive system (gut) and capacity for sucking are weak. Healthcare professionals like pediatric nutritionists, baby dieticians, and lactation consultants can help provide the required assistance.
Premature babies will receive nutrition depending on their gestational age and digestive complications. They may get pumped breast milk, total parenteral nutrition (TPN), or infant formula specifically designed for newborns.
Some feeding methods used in NICU to provide the required nutrition include the following:
- Intravenous feeding (nutrition via veins)
- Pumped breast milk through a bottle
- Gavage or nasogastric (NG) feeding
Developmental Care and Early Intervention Programs
Early intervention programs assist families and infants who have developmental issues. Medical professionals associated with the program will ensure children grow to their fullest potential. However, not all premature babies will need early intervention services. It depends on how early the baby takes birth and apparent symptoms.
Preterm birth often causes complications in the long run. For instance, premature babies are more likely to have trouble learning than full-term children. Developmental care programs in the best Premature baby care hospital help diagnose and treat problems at an early stage.
Transitioning from Hospital to Home
Parents can take their preterm babies from hospital to home when they are well enough. It may be when they feed without support, their body temperature is appropriate, and their breathing rate is stable. Once the baby starts sucking and swallowing, the NICU team will help the mother with breastfeeding and give discharge.
You may feel worried about caring for your premature baby at home. If you have concerns, discuss your worries with the NICU medical staff. They will give a few parenting tips and help you to become more confident in looking after your baby at home.
Preparing for Discharge and Follow-up Care
Finally, when your child is ready to come home from the premature baby care hospital, prepare for discharge. Ask the care team how to care for the baby and when to visit a doctor. Generally, you should follow up within 2–4 days of discharge to ensure the baby is doing well.
At Silver Crest Hospital, child specialists ensure your premature baby receives the best medical care. The healthcare professionals will discuss child growth and development during the discharge meeting. They may ask you to consult medical specialists like early intervention specialists, ophthalmologists, neurologists, and physical therapists. These specialists will assess your baby’s vision, speech, hearing, and motor skills as they grow.