Why you should always select a healthcare provider with an onsite NICU

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Pregnancy is undoubtedly one of the most important decisions in your life. Taking care of yourself and your baby through this period, though, will require a great deal of physical and emotional strength. Childbirth is an equally complex process, which can put a lot of strain on you and also on your baby. Having a successful pregnancy requires that you understand the nature of your delivery, and get the right advice at the right time.

How are complications during delivery tackled?

In cases that involve premature birth, complications arising during delivery or complications in your baby’s health post-delivery, can become even more difficult to handle. For your baby to get the best start in life, when such circumstances arise, he/she may require specialised care. That is why it is important that you approach a health care provider who has an onsite neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

An NICU, apart from having the right equipment to manage the needs of your baby, is staffed by experienced neonatologists, who are well versed in tackling post-delivery complications, and can offer the right care for your new-born. So, how does this factor into your search for the right medical partner for your delivery? A health provider with an onsite NICU helps you understand the nuances of the care your delivery might need, and offers you the services of experts to ensure that your baby gets the best care.

Let’s look at what an NICU is, and what it offers you and your baby, in more detail.

What is a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)?

An NICU specializes in taking care of new-born babies who are ill, or who may be born earlier than the normal gestation period of 37 weeks. With advanced technology and a specialised team of medical professionals, a NICU helps to set your baby on the right track towards a healthy life.

The level of NICU care will depend on the medical condition of your new-born. While most hospitals do offer the services of a NICU, the same may not be equipped to take care of your baby’s medical requirements, and your doctor may advice you to shift them to a hospital with a higher level of NICU.

When will your baby need an NICU?

Your baby will need the specialised care of NICU if he/she is born:

  • Prematurely or earlier than expected
  • With neonatal jaundice
  • With low or very low birth weight
  • With congenital conditions
  • Complications like meconium aspiration or respiratory diseases

Industry leaders like Apollo Cradle offer the services of a Level III NICU, which can support babies:

  • With birth weight as low as 550 grams
  • Born as early as 26 weeks
  • With neonatal jaundice, congenital diseases, respiratory disorders or sepsis.

What specialised equipment does an NICU use?

An NICU comes equipped with a range of equipment, the use of which is dependent on your baby’s medical needs. This includes:

  • Open care incubators with controlled radiant warmers to help maintain your baby’s temperature, maintain humidity and also prevent fluid loss from your baby’s fragile skin.
  • High frequency ventilators that help support babies that need breathing assistance.
  • Vital signs monitors with sensor pads to track your baby’s growth in real time.
  • Phototherapy units to help treat neonatal jaundice.
  • Feeding tubes for babies who are facing digestive difficulties.
  • Isolation beds to avoid risk of infection.

What will happen when your baby is admitted to an NICU?

Once your baby is admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit:

  • He/she will be regularly monitored by a neonatologist. The neonatologist will be supported by resident paediatric doctors, who will help to take care of your baby round-the-clock.
  • The NICU will provide your baby with secure, stabilised incubators in rooms that are designed to control noise and light levels.
  • The care-giving process will continue until your baby stabilises, and is put on the track to optimal health.
  • Medical caregivers will continue to support you with information and medical instructions, even after your baby is discharged from the NICU. The medical team will also continue monitoring the development of your baby, and help guide you through the process of taking care of your baby, if he/she requires additional care.

A medical partner that offers the services of an onsite NICU helps you through complications  during and after your pregnancy. Industry leaders like Apollo Cradle offers holistic medical care that ensures that your baby’s health is protected, no matter the complication. While planning your delivery, it is essential to find a hospital that also offers the services of an onsite NICU.