Taking Your Premature Baby Home

Author:

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

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/babies-articles/taking-your-premature-baby-home-2640271.html

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

What if it was your premature baby!

What if it was yours?

It always strikes me as disturbing how fierce arguments over the right time to let unborn babies live and the need to let premature babies die coincide at around 23 or 24 weeks.

Where termination is concerned, a 24-week old baby is considered too far developed to have its life snuffed out. At the same stage a premature baby is, apparently, too expensive to be allowed to live.

The BBC2 documentary 23 Weeks: The Price Of Life examined the arguments for leaving babies born at 23 weeks to pass away without resuscitation or medical intervention.

Behind the arguments effectively to bin life at its early stages is, of course, money.

The price of life is seemingly too high for the liking of some highly-paid NHS officials – like Dr Daphne Austin, for instance.

Doctor Austin, an adviser to local health trusts, says keeping early babies alive is only prolonging their agony.

Funds would be better spent on care for cancer sufferers or the disabled.

This concerning film did much to promote and support Dr Austin’s arguments – a bit of a worry in itself – which were anchored in cash.

She said the NHS was spending around £10m a year resuscitating babies born early and keeping them alive in incubators and on ventilators.

But despite round-the-clock care from teams of experienced doctors and nurses, just nine per cent left hospital – the rest died. And only one in 100 would grow up without some form of disability – the most common including blindness, deafness and cerebral palsy.

One in 100. Is that one baby worth the expense and effort required for a fight for life?

It most definitely is, if it’s your baby.

First published at 08:57, Saturday, 12 March 2011
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
Anne Pickles

Premature babies battle for survival at ‘edge of life’

The NHS spends more than £10m a year on babies born at 23 weeks

Babies born prematurely in the 23rd week of pregnancy exist on the very edge of life. A few go on to become “miracle babies”, but most die. The figures are stark, only nine out of 100 will survive, and of that number most are disabled. Is it always right to keep them alive?

“I can’t really get my head round how they’ve managed to keep her alive.”

Lucy’s daughter Matilda was born four months early at Birmingham Women’s Hospital, weighing one pound one ounce.

Within 20 seconds of her birth, her tiny body was placed into a plastic bag to prevent her losing too much heat or moisture.

She was carefully transferred into an incubator and hooked up to tubes and gadgets. Cutting-edge technology has been keeping her alive for four weeks.

Had Matilda been born one week earlier at 22 weeks – she would usually have been considered a miscarriage.

One week later at 24 weeks, her chances of survival would be much higher.

Thanks to decades of improving medical science 23 weeks is now considered the “edge of viability”. It is one week less than the limit for abortion at 24 weeks. .. continue reading

By Adam Wishart

Documentary Maker, 23 Week Babies: The Price of Life

Premature Babies More Sensitive to Pain

We learned that one in five Britons suffers chronic pain (a figure probably skewed by full-time TV reviewers). One suggestion was that premature babies in neo-natal units endure so many pain-related procedures during intensive care that the development of pain’s neural pathways is altered. Among chronic sufferers was 16-year-old Rachel, who was born prematurely and, following an accident aged 12, now feels pain that shifts from head, to feet, to arms to legs without respite. “You just want to take the pain yourself,” said her mum. The poor love: of course she does.

 

Source:  Guardian.co.uk

Author: Stuart Jeffries

Premature Baby Health Issues

Because a premature baby is early he/she is more prone to health problems.  These tiny premature babies often have underdeveloped lungs as well as other issues and as a result have higher rates of disabilities such as cerebral palsy.

Because of the various health concerns a premature baby is given medical assistance immediately after delivery. Depending on how prematurely a baby arrives he/she is likely to be transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), for assessment to determine his/her medical needs.

Premature baby Girl

Below are some of the more common conditions that occur in premature babies:

Respiratory Distress Syndrome
a breathing disorder related to the baby’s immature lungs.  Because a premature baby’s lungs frequently lack surfactant, a liquid substance that allows the lungs to remain expanded.  Artificial surfactants are often used to treat these tiny babies in conjunction with a ventilator to improve baby’s breathing and to help maintain sufficient oxygen levels in the blood.

Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia
is the medical term used to describe babies who require oxygen over a longer period of time.  The severity of this condition varies and as baby’s lungs mature they tend to outgrow the condition.

Apnoea
is the medical term given when the regular breathing rhythm is interrupted for more than fifteen seconds.  The condition is often is associated with a reduced heart rate, known medically as bradycardia. A pulse oximeter is used to measure oxygen saturation a drop in oxygen is known as de-saturation. The majority of babies outgrow the condition by the time they go home.

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP)
previously known as retrolental fibroplasia (RLF), is an eye disease that affects premature babies in which the retina is not fully developed. The majority of cases resolve without the need for treatment, although serious cases may require surgery. Both oxygen toxicity and relative hypoxia can contribute to the development of ROP.

Jaundice
is the result of a build in the baby’s blood of a chemical called Bilirubin. As a result of this build up the baby’s skin takes on a yellow tinge. Treating the condition involves placing the undressed baby under special lights whilst covering baby’s eyes to protect them from damage.

 

 

Brain development of premature babies

Incubator-tahrir

Image via Wikipedia

According to scientists measuring the development of a premature baby’s brain during the first few weeks of life can help determine whether or not a baby is likely to suffer mental and or physical development issues in the future.

Nearly half of all premature babies who survive being born before 30-week gestation go on to develop a mental or physical disability.  Gender also appears to play a significant role as baby born very premature were more likely to be affected than girls born at the same gestation.

While a foetus is in the womb the surface of their brain known medically as the cortex, should change in appearance from looking somewhat like a coffee bean to looking more like a walnut, however if a baby were born prematurely the above changes would take place outside of the womb.

The stress of premature birth combined with the stress of invasive medical care can greatly influence the brain development in premature babies resulting in a slower rate of brain growth.

By scanning and measuring the brain of premature babies, it may be possible to identify which babies are most likely to require development support later on.

Premature Baby Twin Boys Reunited

If you have not been following Eveline’s blog “Timeless” you will be unaware that her sister in law gave birth to twin boys Lewis and Jenson, Jenson was born at 2 lbs 10.  His brother Lewis followed less than 30 minutes later at 2 lbs 6. Both so tiny, they were taken away to be put in incubators.

After spending weeks and miles apart Lewis and Jenson have now been reunited

To ready Lewis and Jenson’s story please visit Eveline’s blog Timeless

If you or a family member are in need of premature baby clothes then please visit our on line shop prem2pram

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