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

Don’t write off premature babies

THE NHS spends £10million a year resuscitating babies born at 23 weeks and keeping them on incubators and ventilators.  But despite 24/7 care, 91 PER CENT of them die. And only one in 100 survivors grows up without disability. The most common problems include blindness, deafness and cerebral palsy.

Leading NHS official Dr Daphne Austin ignited the debate this week when she said in a BBC documentary that keeping the babies alive simply “prolonged” their agony and argued the money would be better spent on cancer sufferers or the disabled.

Guidelines state doctors should not try to resuscitate babies born before 22 weeks as they are too under developed, but those born between 22 and 25 weeks should be given intensive care.

Around 350 babies a year are born at 23 weeks and nearly all are resuscitated as families cling to the hope they will survive.

Here, two mums talk of their 23-week premature babies and why NOT to give up hope.

POLICE officer Lucy Kirwan says her daughter, Matilda, was one of the lucky ones. Lucy, 30, lives in Stourbridge, West Midlands, with her husband Craig, 31, also a police officer, two-year-old son Charlie and Matilda, seven months.

“CHARLIE was born normally. So when I fell pregnant with twin girls last year it didn’t occur to us there would be problems. But at 22 weeks I was told there was a problem with the fluid around the babies.

After a weekend of not feeling very well, I went to Birmingham Women’s Hospital where a scan showed only one heartbeat. The next day, my waters broke.

Craig and I had spent the weekend on the internet working out what would happen if our baby was born at 27 or 28 weeks. We never thought we would have to worry about what would happen if she was born at 23 weeks.

A few days later I went into labour. I was only 23 weeks and six days pregnant.

We’d gone from buying things for the twins and feeling we’d got past the “safe” point of the 20-week scan to losing one baby, Alice Rose, and preparing to give birth to her very premature twin, Matilda. I didn’t have much hope.

Matilda did cry briefly when she was born, then her organs couldn’t cope and the doctors spent half an hour resuscitating her before taking her away. There were about 15 doctors and nurses in the room and alarms were going off.

But I had to give birth to her twin, then I had emergency surgery because the placenta was still attached so I wasn’t very aware of what was happening to Matilda…. continue reading

By Emma Cox
Source: The Sun

Potential Health Issues in Premature Babies

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.

My premature baby daughter Sky

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 ofabuild in the baby’s blood of achemical 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.

(ArticlesBase SC #4110371)

About the Author: Sue Edmondson runs Prem2Pram the on line premature baby store http://www.prem2pram.co.uk as a mother herself of two premature babies she understands the difficulties parents face when their baby arrives early.

A letter to … my lost baby

The letter you always wanted to write

Source: The Guardian –  Read the full article and comment

I was surprised to find out I was pregnant with you because I had taken steps to avoid it. I cried. I was young, in a rocky relationship and already over-stretched with the care of your brother. The flat was too small, money was more than tight and I was halfway through my training. But I loved motherhood and believed that new life is always a gift, so there was never any question of an abortion.

Things would have to change, of course. I gave your father an ultimatum. He had to stop drinking and give me charge of the money until we could save for a better home. At first it seemed to work.

What I didn’t know was that you had a secret locked away in your DNA. It was the silence at the ultrasound scan that gave it away. The sonographer pointed to the black-and-white fuzz on the screen. “There’s the heart … You can see it beating.” Then silence. She must have known straight away. I could make out your head. She asked to be excused while she went to get a second opinion. I knew something was very wrong. They said there was fluid around the brain. I still have the photo of that scan. Your hands are clasped together underneath your head like you are sleeping and praying at the same time. This is the position you were born in….. Continue reading

Babies, children and adults can all have allergies

When I was a child hardly anyone even doctors ever thought of allergies, nowadays, times have changed and we live in a world in which we have a greater empathy for those suffering from allergic reactions.

When I was young I suffered from a series of skin allergies.  The first to become apparent was an allergy to first aid sticking plasters (band aids as Americans call them) there wasn’t the range of so called hypoallergenic plasters available.  As a consequence every time I cut my self my mother would wrap huge amounts of bandages around my cuts.  As a rough and tumble boy and the youngest of 6 children my mother was always busy nursing my cuts and bruises.  Fortunately all my brothers and sisters knew that I was allergic to them, however, once I started school the teachers and school nurse would not accept that I could have an allergic reaction to plasters.  Every time I cut my self and the teacher or nurse would do what they thought right and seemingly a naughty child ripped it off within minutes.  That child was of course my self.   School would telephone my mother and tell her the story and my mum would promptly turn round and tell them I wasn’t being naughty I was allergic to plasters.  They never did believe my mum and certainly not me the poorly child!  Sometimes she would have to come in and take me home if I was badly cut.  How quickly would I react to a plaster?  Well after less than 5 minutes I would have a rash under and around the plaster, if school could force it to stay on half an hour the rash would be half way along my leg or arm, after an hour it would be the whole length of the limb.

I also became allergic to the metal backing plate on my first ever watch when I was a child.  Bought from an offer on the Weetabix box’s and with 6 months of pocket money saved up to buy it.  I wasn’t best pleased, nor were my parents!  I couldn’t wear the watch without some form of protection on the back to prevent skin contact.

Later on as a teenager working on my motorbikes or my dads car I found I was allergic to Swarfega hand cleaner, thankfully washing up liquid with a dose of sugar sprinkled would enable me to get my hands clean without any reaction it is still a method I use today – why change something found to work for the last 30 years!

Another allergy that started to show with products changing over the years has been to washing powder, best make sure of the one used and that it is well rinsed out afterwards if it isn’t really well rinsed then it will become irritable if I get very hot.

Possibly the most unusual skin allergy I discovered in my twenties.  Living at my parents house they retired to in the mountains of Wales what could I possibly be allergic to?  Not only that but it was only in winter not in summer?   No prizes for any readers guessing, I was allergic to a particular type of tree!  Or more precisely the sap of a particular type of tree, because the tree sap is chemically quite different in winter than summer, even in coniferous trees.   Our fields were surrounded by forestry commission land and in winter storms some would fall in to our fields.  Out with the chain saw and safety gear and in to the wood store they would go.  One of the local farmers that was also a foreman for the forestry commission laughed and kindly told me exactly what type of tree was causing the problem, it would seem it is quite common in forest workers.  He was definitely right when he said it would be in winter or summer not both.  Someone not in the medical profession with very practical experience of allergies, I am really glad I went to his farm that day to pick up extra food supplements for the sheep in our fields.  A fortnight later and I was free of the discomfort caused by my allergy to the trees, now I am more careful with any ‘green’ wood I cut up.  Life is like that you can learn from your own experiences and those of others as long as you have an open mind and are prepared to listen and learn.

The only food that never agreed with me growing up was prawns/shrimps and they can be a little dodgy to eat for anyone.  As they always made me sick I haven’t eaten them for over 40 years until recently.  I knowingly ate them from the soup and the fried rice from a local Chinese takeaway, well I’m not working at the moment so I could try them and if they made me ill it wouldn’t matter in terms of my work.  I was very pleased to find that I was not ill at all.

Now in my forties, my local doctors and staff in the health services are far more aware of allergies to different items and food stuffs, some are obviously known for being potentially lethal hence we have warnings on our foods in shops and restaurants.  Fortunately as an adult I have been far less likely to cut or injure my self and having worked as a medical engineer you really do take extra care, not because of worries of reactions to plasters, there are now ranges on offer that I do not react to but for reasons of being infected by anything that might be contaminated.

In modern times medical staff are far more aware of allergic reactions to foods and materials used in items of clothing, washing powders and the like.  Babies, particularly premature babies in NICU and SCBU care in hospitals are far less tolerant to environmental changes such as heat, cold, humidity.  Because of their diminutive size and proportionately high surface area of skin contact area to their relative body mass it is as important with such babies to become very quickly aware of any skin allergies that they may have as it is to become aware of any food allergies they may show at later stages in their development.

If whilst in hospital care or even once at home and the baby begins to show any signs allergic reaction then as responsible parents we should all act accordingly and as swiftly as possible to determine and remove the cause.

Even as your child grows and through to adulthood they may still display various allergies to metals, clothing, animal fibres or foods hopefully by that time they will be strong enough and experienced enough to be able to act accordingly and let friends and family know and be prepared for some of the most dangerous allergies. As someone who suffered from the discomfort of some basic skin allergies whilst growing up I am thankful of the responsible approach that my parents adopted.  Whilst frustrated at the lack of empathy and understanding of various adults in my early life I fully appreciate the greater understanding health care professionals have on such issues in the 21st century.  If the medics didn’t listen, study and learn from patients experience in the past our health care might never improve in the future. As responsible adults and as parents we must all help the professionals as they try and help us, their patients.  For those that are the most weak and vulnerable such as premature and poorly babies all the way through to our most senior citizens any person may show allergic reactions to items they have never been in contact with previously in their life or even develop an allergy as they get older such as ‘hay fever’.

Don’t be blasé and simply shrug your shoulders, do something to help the people in the ‘now’ and for fellow suffers in the future.

Author: Andrew Edmondson
Twenty five years experience as a engineer in various roles and still learning!  The practical joker husband of Sue of prem2pram the on line premature baby store.

Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/allergies-articles/babies-children-and-adults-can-all-have-allergies-2533357.html#ixzz1ElkrJtTd

Price crunch on newborn and premature baby clothes

When it comes to buying clothes for a new baby there is a wide selection available on the market, however when it comes to buying clothes for premature babies they require more specialised clothing and accessories, so you may need to look further than your high street baby store.

Babies outgrown their clothes so quickly, that paying £15 for a babygro just doesn’t make economic sense.  Don’t panic you can still dress your baby in gorgeous outfits without breaking the bank, for example the three piece baby boys outfit pictured below sized to fit babies weighing between 5-8lbs is on sale at just £4.55

baby boys clothes

premature baby cardigans

cheap baby clothes

For baby boys weighing between 8 and 10lbs there is a five piece appliquéd outfit at just £9.99, now that’s what I call a bargain.  To see all of this weeks special offers please visit us at http://www.prem2pram.co.uk

Living in a £1.2 million council house with 12 children

THE gypsy mum of 12 living in a £1.2million council home admits she is addicted to having babies.

Tanya Walsh, 39, is already expecting number 13 with hubby Tom O’Leary, 42, next month.

She bragged on the website Bebo that she is “addicted to children”.

Tanya lists her favourite sports as “eating chocolate and having babies“. And she tells on Facebook how she “can’t wait” for episodes of cult TV series Big Fat Gypsy Weddings.

Haringey Council in North London has housed the family in a huge semi in Muswell Hill, heaping misery on posh neighbours. The clan is estimated to cost taxpayers around £72,000 a year.

Author: Gary O’shea

Read the full story in The Sun

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