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

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


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

Brain development of premature babies


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.

Cancer drug can halt contractions and may help prevent premature labour.

premature baby
Image by maria mono via Flickr

A drug used to treat cancer can stop contractions and may even prevent premature labour, researchers from Newcastle University have claimed.

The research team tested the drug Trichostatin A on samples of tissue taken from over thirty women undergoing a caesarean birth.

Trichostatin A (TSA) is known as a drug used to promote the death of cancer cells.

They stated the therapy worked by controlling muscle relaxation through increasing the levels of a particular protein.

One spokesperson stated with rates of premature births increasing a new treatment was badly needed as there are 50,000 premature babies born each year in the UK.

As pre-term labour and early birth currently account for the largest cause of death in infants in the developed world.  With statistics suggesting that the mortality rate caused by issues related to pre-term labour and early birth as around 1,500 infants in the UK each year alone.

There are a number of drugs available for treatment that help to prevent early labour, however, most of the available drugs can have serious side effects.

The research team were given permission to take the samples of the muscles from the female patients undergoing caesarean sections at a Newcastle hospital in order to conduct and confirm their tests and the results they achieved


They exposed the muscle to Trichostatin A and measured the effects of both spontaneous contractions and those induced by Oxytocin a labour control drug.

The researchers results found indicated an average 46% reduction in contractions for the spontaneously contracting tissue.  Increasing to an average of a 54% reduction in the Oxytocin induced contractions.

It has been previously shown that the protein Kinase A (PKA) is involved in controlling the relaxation of the uterus during pregnancy.

The researcher team were able to demonstrate that through the use of Trichostatin A that the levels of a protein sub-unit of Kinase A were increased.

Professor Nick Europe-Finner, the leader of the research team, said: “We will not give this drug to a patient because it can damage as many as 10% of the genes in a cell; But it does show us that other more specific agents that act on the same enzymes but only one at a time are worth investigating.”

New treatment

Dr Yolande Harley, deputy director of research at Action Medical Research that funded the study, said: “This project has uncovered some of the molecular pathways that regulate uterine contractions and so could be linked to premature birth”.

“It could have a role in preventing premature birth – finding a new treatment for early labour would be a major step forward”.

Professor Jane Norman, a spokeswoman for the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (RCOG), said: “At the moment, it’s not possible to treat pre-term labour effectively.  We only have drugs that delay it by 24 hours or so – not enough to deliver the baby safely”.

“One of the interesting things about this research is that they are using a new kind of drug – the drugs we are currently using have been around for a long time”.

“And they are targeting pathways we have not known about before”.

“When you consider that pre-term birth rates are rising in all four countries of the UK a new more effective drug is badly needed.”

Source: BBC News at one

For premature baby clothes, premature dummies, NICU, and SCBU baby clothes please visit Prem2Pram the online premature baby store.

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A protein deficiency triggered by a gene plays a role in premature births

By Peggy O’Farrel
Source: Cincinnati News

A protein deficiency triggered by a gene that’s supposed to prevent the growth of cancerous tumours plays a role in premature births; say Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Centre researchers.

An intubated female premature infant born prem...

Image via Wikipedia

The discovery is one of the first that gives experts a target on which to focus future research into why babies are born early, and it could ultimately guide efforts to prevent that, said Sudhansu K. Dey, director of reproductive sciences at Cincinnati Children’s and the study’s senior investigator.

“Pre-term birth and prematurely are problems that pose huge long-term social and economic liabilities, and there is an urgent need for research with new approaches to combat this public health concern,” he said.

Premature birth accounts for about 30 percent of all newborn deaths, and costs about $26 billion a year in the U.S., according to the Institute of Medicine.

In Hamilton County, about 16 percent of babies are born prematurely, compared to about 13 percent nationally.

For the study, Dey and his team targeted the molecular interactions that allow cells to communicate. The interactions are tightly regulated during pregnancy, but become dysfunctional when tumours develop.

Dey and his team looked at the interactions linked to a tumour-suppressor gene, which controls the actions of a second gene, called p53. Sometimes called “the guardian angel gene,” p53 protects genetic stability and prevents genetic mutations.

Scientists already know that mutations of the suppressor-suppressor gene are found in some cancers, but little is known about its role in pregnancy and other body processes.

To understand the role p53 plays in female reproduction, Dey and his team designed genetically altered mice missing the suppressor-suppressor gene. The missing gene meant the mice couldn’t produce p53.

When the genetically altered mice mated with normal male mice, most stages of conception and pregnancy were normal.

But the p53 deficiency set off a series of processes that led to premature birth, including causing cells designed to support the foetus and grow protective placenta to form improperly.

Those improperly formed cells, in turn, triggered the release of the enzyme COX2 and that caused the mice’s uterine muscles to contract, leading to pre-term birth.

More than half of the genetically altered mice experienced pre-term birth and the death of their newborn offspring.

The findings were striking because doctors often give women celecoxib, a drug that counteracts COX2, to prevent premature birth.

Doctors know a lot about the socio-economic factors – lack of prenatal care, substance abuse, use of fertility treatments that lead to multiple births – that contribute to premature birth, said Jeffrey Whitsett, a researcher at Cincinnati Children’s.

But they know very little about the biological processes that trigger childbirth, whether it’s premature or right on time, he said.

“We don’t even know whether the mother signals the baby to be born or the baby signals the mother,” he said.

Discovery of the role p53 plays in triggering premature birth in mice “really gives us, for the first time, a handhold in knowing where to look.”

Kim Brady, director of obstetrics at Good Samaritan Hospital, said he’d be interesting in seeing the research translated to women. If the findings are applicable in people, he said, women who’ve had premature babies should have p53 deficiencies.

The findings could explain why some groups are more prone to premature birth, he said, and could help doctors determine who’s likely to need treatment to prevent premature births.

“It really opens up the opportunity for future research,” he said.

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