Preemie IVF Babies – Guide For Parents On How To Interact With Them In NICU

Some of these babies are admitted to the NICU soon after birth and most within 24 hours of delivery.

Parents can visit their newborns in the neonatal intensive care unit and spend time with them. Here are some dos and don'ts you need to follow while taking care of your baby in NICU.

When babies are born prematurely, have health problems, or have a difficult birth, they are admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the hospital. A team of experts looks after the babies 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Some of these babies are admitted to the NICU soon after birth and most within 24 hours of delivery. The length of their stay depends on their health. Some infants are only for a few hours or days, while others are for several weeks or months.

The NICU may be referred to as:

  • a nursery for children with special care
  • a nursery that specialises in intensive care
  • a neonatal intensive care unit

How to take care of your preemie in NICU

Make your baby's environment more personal

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To distinguish your baby's space from that of other babies, you can bring items from home, use gifts from others, or hang photos of yourself and your baby's siblings. However, keep in mind that too much clutter can make it harder to care for your new-born.

Make a private area

When you're in the NICU, you're almost always facing outwards. This implies that anyone passing by will be able to see you. Turn your chair around so that you face inwards if you want some alone time but still want to be near your kid. Then you can close your eyes and relax, read, sing to your baby, or simply relax.

Engage in your baby's routines.

Plan to be in the NICU while the staff does your baby's care if you can. You can start by learning and then gradually take over the care of your infant. You can help wash your baby's face, change nappies, or reposition your infant, for example.

Keep track of your baby's progress.

Even if it seems unforgettable now, it's possible that you'll forget a lot about this period in your baby's life. To assist you to recall, you could shoot photos or films, or keep a diary. There are also smartphone apps that can assist you in keeping track of your weight increase and other developmental milestones. The nurses at the hospital can assist you with taking your baby's hand and foot imprints and prints.

Who Is Allowed to Visit the NICU?

Parents can visit their newborns in the NICU and spend time with them. Other family members may be allowed to visit, but only during specific hours and for a limited number of people at a time. Check with the hospital staff to discover who will be allowed to see your baby as different hospital have different policies.

Visiting family members in some facilities are required to wear hospital gowns. It's possible that gloves and a mask will be required.

Before entering the NICU, everyone is required to wash their hands and be bare below elbow except for wedding rings. No watches, bangles, threads on hands are allowed. This is an important aspect of maintaining the NICU as germ-free as possible for the babies.

Discharge Requirements

A preemie must achieve some fundamental standards before being discharged from the hospital to ensure good health and fewer medical complications. Some nurseries have a minimum weight requirement for discharge.

Before your child leaves home, make an appointment with the paediatrician. Inquire with the NICU staff about when the appointment is required; it is normally within 2-4 days following hospital discharge unless the paediatrician has assumed care of the infant prior to discharge from the NICU).

Discuss with NICU staff if your baby will require nursing at home or visits from medical providers other than a paediatrician. If this is the case, request recommendations and contact information for those healthcare specialists. In rare cases, hospitals may schedule numerous specialist appointments on the same day.

The article is contributed by Dr Vikas Satwik, Consultant Paediatrician & Neonatologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Hebbal, Bangalore.

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