Does Your Baby Need Neonatal Care? this is a very crucial question nowadays.
As wonderful as it seems, giving birth can also be a complex process, since there are many physical and emotional changes that are observed in both the mother and the baby. It is crucial that the baby undergoes several physical adjustments to life once it is outside the mother’s body. Once the baby is out of the womb, they cannot sustain on their mother’s blood supply and placenta for their body functions.
When the baby is in the womb, they depend on their mother for all their bodily functions, including breathing, eating, elimination of waste, and immune protection. As soon as the baby leaves the womb, the organs must start functioning. For instance, the lungs must start respiration, the cardiac and pulmonary circulation must change, the digestive system must begin to process food and excrete waste, while the kidneys must begin working to balance fluids & chemicals in the body and excrete waste.
The new-born baby’s body needs to get the systems to function properly, in a new way, in order to survive. Naturally, some babies might have some trouble in making this transition to the outside world. A preterm birth, difficult birth, or any birth defects can make it difficult for the baby to undergo these changes, which is why a lot of special care is available to help new-born babies with these changes.
What Is the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)?
New-borns who might be in need of intensive medical care are put in an area of the hospital which is called the neonatal intensive care unit or the NICU. The NICU is equipped with advanced technology and trained healthcare professionals that can provide special care for these new-born babies. Sometimes NICUs can also include care for babies who are not very sick and need specialized nursing care. While some hospitals don’t have the resources or staff for NICU, and the babies are required to be moved to another hospital, babies with intensive care needs do better if they are born in a Neonatal Care Hospital.
Which Babies Need Special Care?
Here are a few factors pertaining to the mother that can indicate that the baby might need special neonatal care:
- If the mother is below the age of 16 or above the age of 40
- If she continues drug or alcohol use during pregnancy
- If the mother has diabetes or high BP
- If the mother deals with any STDs or Sexually transmitted diseases
- If there are multiple pregnancies, (such as twins or triplets)
- If there are unusual amounts of amniotic fluid
- If there is a premature rupture of membranes
The presence of the following factors during delivery means that neonatal care could be vital:
- If there are changes in the new-born’s organ systems owing to the lack of oxygen
- If the baby is delivered buttocks-first, or in any other unconventional position
- If the baby’s first stool is passed during pregnancy into the amniotic fluid
- If the umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby’s neck
- If there was a forceps or caesarean delivery
The following factors in the new-born indicate that they’ll need special care:
- If the baby is born at gestational age of less than 37 weeks or more than 42 weeks
- If the birth weight of the baby is less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces (2,500 grams) or over 8 pounds, 13 ounces (4,000 grams)
- If the baby is too small for gestational age
- If there was a use of medicine or resuscitation in the delivery room
- If the baby has any birth defects
- If the baby has any respiratory distress including rapid breathing, grunting, or stopping breathing, or infection such as herpes, group B streptococcus, chlamydia
- If the baby has seizures
- If the baby has low blood sugar
- If there is a need for extra oxygen or monitoring, IV therapy, or medicines
- If there is a need for special treatment or procedures such as a blood transfusion
Most babies admitted to the NICU are either born 37 weeks before pregnancy, have low birth weight of lesser than 5.5 pounds, or have a health condition that needs special care. Twins, triplets, and other multiples are also often admitted to the NICU, because they tend to be born earlier and smaller than single birth babies. Therefore baby need neonatal care. For information about neonatal care, get in touch with a paediatrician today.