Taking Your Premature Baby Home
Rachel of tinylittlebaby
As a parent of a premature baby on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit the one thing you are desperately waiting to hear is the magical words ‘you can take your baby home’
From the moment your baby is born you are waiting to hear those magical words, however for a lot of parents those six words also bring a lot of fear and anxiety.
Until this time your precious baby has been looked after 24/7 by a number of different types of doctors, nurses and many other heath practitioners. There will have been monitors and high-tech equipment that you have got used to and come to rely on for reassurance whilst on the unit, you will have grown used to this level of support and that there is always someone around for advice and support. So it is understandable that you will be worried and anxious as well as relieved and excited because at home you will be person caring for your baby, a very daunting thought.
The staff on NICU would not be letting you take your baby home if they did not think that your baby was well enough to leave NICU and that you were not capable of taking care of your baby.
Before leaving the hospital you will have been given training in how to perform basic resuscitation. A lot of units have rooms where you can stay overnight with your baby with the NICU nurses just next door, this can help give you the confidence you need to know that you can take care of your baby.
Once discharged from the unit you will still have a lot of support from health professionals, some of those involved will be your GP and health visitor, A lot of units have a specialist nurse who will visit you at home soon after being discharged to offer support and advice and your child will possibly have a pediatrician who will follow their progress.
If your baby was very premature, needed oxygen or was ventilated they may be at more risk of infection, some steps you can take to reduce risk of infection are:
- Make sure everyone who comes into contact with your baby washes their hands.
- Don\’t take your baby to crowded public places
- Don\’t take your baby into large air-conditioned places like a shopping centre, supermarkets.
- Ask people who have had a cold/ fever to refrain from visiting.
Taking your baby home from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for the first time is a very special experience and a very large milestone on your journey, take advantage of any help offered from family and friends, make sure to take time for yourself and enjoy being at home with your very special baby.
For a baby record book designed for babies in NICU visit http://www.tinylittlebaby.co.uk
About the Author
Mother of a premature baby and creator of STARTING LIFE IN NICU a baby record book designed for babies who start life in a neonatal intensive care unit http://www.tinylittlebaby.co.uk