Caring for Premature Babies
What are premature babies and what causes them to be born early?
A preemie, or premature infant, is a baby who is born before 37 weeks gestation. In the United States, about 1 in 10 babies are born prematurely. Premature babies are at risk for a variety of health problems, including respiratory distress syndrome, feeding difficulties, and jaundice. They may also have developmental delays and require special care. There are a variety of factors that can contribute to premature labor, including infection, stress, smoking, and complications from diabetes or high blood pressure. In many cases, the cause of premature labor is unknown. However, early detection and treatment can help improve outcomes for preemies and their families.
How do you care for a premature baby in the hospital neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)?
Premature babies are cared for in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The NICU is a special unit in the hospital that is equipped to care for premature babies. The staff in the NICU is specially trained to care for premature babies. They will monitor the baby’s breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure. They will also provide the baby with the necessary nutrition and hydration. The baby’s temperature will be closely monitored and the baby will be kept warm. The baby will also be monitored for jaundice. If the baby has any problems, the staff in the NICU will work to resolve them. The goal of the NICU is to ensure that the baby grows and develops normally.
What are some common problems premature babies face and how can they be treated?
Some common problems premature babies face are respiratory distress, low blood sugar, anemia, and jaundice. Thankfully, there are treatments available for all of these conditions. Respiratory distress can be treated with mechanical ventilation or positive pressure ventilation. Low blood sugar can be treated with intravenous glucose. Anemia can be treated with transfusions of packed red blood cells. Jaundice can be treated with phototherapy. If a premature baby is born very early, they may also face problems with their brain, heart, gastrointestinal system, or kidneys. These problems can often be detected before birth through prenatal testing and monitored closely after birth. With the advances in medical technology, more and more premature babies are thriving.
How can you help a premature baby when he or she goes home from the hospital?
Because a premature infant’s body is not yet fully developed, premature babies often face a variety of health challenges. When a premature baby is ready to go home from the hospital, there are a number of things that parents can do to help ensure their child’s health and well-being. First, it is important to follow all of the doctor’s instructions for care. This may include feeding schedules, medication schedules, and guidelines for activity and sleep. In addition, parents should be alert for signs of illness or development problems. If any problems arise, they should be sure to contact the doctor right away. Finally, parents should provide their premature baby with plenty of love and attention. Studies have shown that skin-to-skin contact and bonding with caregivers can help promote healthy growth and development in premature babies. By following these tips, parents can help give their premature baby a healthy start in life.
More Common Illnesses We Treat
If your child is experiencing any symptoms of any condition don’t hesitate to call us. We are here to assist with treatment and preventative measures for your family.