NICU

 

As soon as a mother gives birth to a baby, the first thing they want to do is to bring their precious possession to their home. But if the little one is take her to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), it becomes a major cause of concern for the parents causing fear. Though it may sound alien at first, but understanding.NICU and its need can ease the fear and allow the parents to help in the child’s recovery.

So, what is Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)?

NICU is a special section in paediatric department of a hospital, where new-born babies are kept for days or weeks subjected to the baby’s scale of prematurity. This department of the hospital possess special equipment and personals thatwho are trained to provide extensive care to the babies and their special needs.
The equipment at NICU provides adequate oxygen and temperature and mitigates the risks associated with them. Altogether it provides the optimal environment for the baby’s sustenance.

Why does some babies need special care?
During the birth of a child, several physical and emotional changes come into play for both mother and baby. During pregnancy, all the vital functions such as transfer of nutrients, removal of wastage, protection from pathogens and supply of oxygen come from the mother. But, as the baby comes out of the uterus, it can no longer depend on the placenta for transferring vital nutrients and major body functions, as it needs to adjust with the outside environment. Some of the major adaptations to be undergone by the baby post birth are as follows:
The lungs must become functional and breathe air
The heart must circulate blood efficiently
The liver must initiate its own immunity system
The digestive system must process food and eliminate wastage
The kidney must initiate the fluid and iron balance of the body
Why does some babies need special care?
During the birth of a child, several physical and emotional changes come into play for both mother and baby. During pregnancy, all the vital functions such as transfer of nutrients, removal of wastage, protection from pathogens and supply of oxygen come from the mother. But, as the baby comes out of the uterus, it can no longer depend on the placenta for transferring vital nutrients and major body functions, as it needs to adjust with the outside environment. Some of the major adaptation to be undergone by the baby post birth are as follows:

The lungs must become functional and breathe air
The heart must circulate blood efficiently
The liver must initiate its own immunity system
The digestive system must process food and eliminate wastage
The kidney must initiate the fluid and ironFor most of the babies, this transition comes naturally without any major problem. But if the baby is born premature or with low birth weight or with some congenital disease, then this transition becomes quite challenging. Thankfully, special care is available for such babies in NICUs.

So where to take your baby if she needs special care?

ILS Hospitals offers NICU facilities to babies with special needs. It has trained specialists and modern equipment to help the baby adapt with the external environment. Such new born babies get a new life at ILS Hospitals.

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

Pregnancy is an important phase in every woman’s life. During this period, your baby grows inside you and is completely dependent on your placenta for important functions like breathing, nourishment and elimination of waste. However, your newborn baby must adjust to the external environment once it comes into this world; but in certain cases, he/she is unable to adjust to the new environment and the changes it brings. This mostly happens when your baby is premature.

Most premature babies, i.e. those having low body weight or if born sick, must be kept in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) till they become strong. Again babies from IVF pregnancy are often born preterm and must be kept in the special care unit till they become mature. So also multiple pregnancy results in small for date babies that need the support of the NICU for a while. So, if your baby is sick or premature and has been referred to the NICU, you need not panic.

Almost 10 to 15% of the babies born every year are kept in the NICU. It is a special part of the hospital where a weak newborn baby is cared for by experts in the field. With technological advancement in neonatal care, there are special machines such as the incubator, warmer, ventilator, infusion pump and phototherapy, which are now being used to take care of premature babies.

The most common machine in every NICU is the incubator. An incubator is an enclosed machine in which your baby is provided with a warm, controlled and protected environment similar to your womb. A preterm baby is usually kept in an incubator until it is mature enough to survive in the normal environment.

Every NICU has a neonatologist who is responsible for the babies in this unit. Apart from him/her, there are several specially trained nurses who keep a constant watch on each and every infant in the unit. You, as the mother, are often allowed to help out in taking care of your young one.

Now there are factors which increase the chances of your newborn baby being born sick, weak or preterm because of which he/she must stay in the NICU for several days, weeks or months at a time. These are:

If you, the mother, suffer from various health problems during pregnancy

It has been seen that during pregnancy, if you have risky lifestyles and have been involved in drug abuse or smoking for instance, the chances of your baby being small for date and being born prematurely increase. Again, in cases of pregnant women with hypertension or diabetes, the chances are higher that your newborn baby may have some problems requiring support in the NICU.

Even though IVF pregnancy is now a household term and a most common treatment for infertility, babies born through this method can require the care of a NICU. Studies have shown that babies born from IVF pregnancy are more likely to need intensive medical attention than those conceived normally.

If your delivery was not normal and was complicated

If your umbilical cord is wound up around your baby’s neck during birth, if there’s fetal distress your baby may need intensive care under expert supervision to adjust to the outside world. If your baby has aspirated during delivery, he/she would need to be supported for a while to breathe normally.

If your baby is weak and has low body weight

Most preterm babies, i.e. those born before 37 weeks, need to be kept in the NICU for a few days or weeks. Again if your baby is born weak or has low body weight at birth, he will be kept under observation in this unit. In many cases, your newborn often develops apnea and breathing difficulty. Babies who have birth defects many of which require surgery in the newborn period would need to be kept in the NICU for further tests, evaluation, observation and treatment.

In case your baby requires the services of a NICU, it becomes imperative for you to seek professional help to choose the best neonatal care centre for your baby. Doing so can ensure your baby remains and healthy and grows normally, without any birth defects.

Keeping cool during pregnancy

Keeping cool during the Indian summer is challenging, but it can be especially difficult for expectant mothers to deal with. This is because the extra blood flow that results from pregnancy adds to the heat and can cause higher-than-normal body temperatures. The effects of dehydration, heat stroke and other heat-related conditions get amplified when it comes to pregnant women and their babies. Thus, it is very important for moms-to-be to take the necessary precautions during the summer.

Here are a few helpful tips for staying cool during pregnancy in the hot weather:

Avoid direct sunlight: Try to tackle all your outdoor tasks in the early morning or evening to avoid being out under direct sunlight. Make sure you apply sunscreen before you step out because pregnant skin is more prone to burning and blotching owing to the hormonal changes that the body goes through during this process.
Eat light and healthy: Large meals put your digestive system in high gear, thus generating more heat. Eat light and fresh meals that are easier to digest. Also, reduce salt intake because excess salt results in water retention and this contributes to more body heat.
Pace yourself: Do not take up more tasks than you can easily handle. Try to minimize or delegate your chores and make it a point not to push yourself when you feel exhausted.

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