If your baby arrives early before 37 weeks its classed as premature and may need to spend some time being cared for in the NICU ( the neonatal intensive care unit) You may think oh baby will be ok after a few days and can come home but sometimes its not as simple as that.
Differences in premature babies ages
depending how far long in pregnancy mum has reached determines how a premature baby will be .under 2lb in weight these premature babies are known as immature because a very preterm baby can cause sometimes problems due to the inner organs inside a baby’s body being very immature. in an incubator known as the NICU these babies have emergency aid that is gradually weaned off them as they become stronger and their tiny bodies start to mature. These are the poorliest premature babies and have the most basic needs met artificially such as warmth,breathing assistance and nourishment.
You could be discharged before baby and can go home and the devastating reality is baby may still need intensive care for a while longer.Your emotions will be up and down. If you have twins one twin may be sicker than the other and have more medicines you worry about one baby then its a time to worry about the other. All goes well then bad news hits and one baby gets and infection. Its a roller coaster ride in effect.
The nursing staff are trained to use empathy when telling you news good or not so good but each baby is different and may need more care or less care than another woman’s baby on the ward. You may feel jealous as each mum starts to take their baby home resentful; yet also make new friends that can give you support when a partner cannot always be with you by baby’s incubator.
The nursing staff will to you to a quiet room and discuss new procedures new tests needed an operation or in need an xray as they try to keep you informed of your baby’s ongoing progress. Sometimes the news is not good and a little one may have to have reduced care as there seems to be no improvement.
You can’t have loads of visitors in the NICU just immediate family to minimise the risk of infections passed on to each baby.The tinest of babies are the most vulnerable when it comes to getting an infection easily. You will also find you need to keep some visitors at bay for a while when baby gets home so baby doesn’t get an infection from another sick adult of child.You’ll be so glad that baby is home that you will be ever so protective when it comes to your precious baby that has been through the mill just to get home from the NICU safely.
Visiting premature babies in special care
due to the risk of infections to premature babies, hospitals limit the number of visitors to immediate family.
When you visit the NICU for the first time expect some tears as you see your baby lying in an incubator . It will be connected with wires tubes monitors and alarms will be going off all the time from one cot to the next.Its constant monitoring in the NICU so baby is kept as comfortable as possible, given correct medication whilst undergoing tests and enough oxygen given to help baby breath more easily. the best advice is to ask as many questions as possible so it keeps you informed. You may have forgotten as your relay on the phone messages back home to the family as your head feels likes it in a spin, but the nursing staff are very understanding.You may also be able to pick up a leaflet or too off the wards ask a nurse for one to take home to read in your own time.