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Before Taking Your Pre Term Baby Home

Before Taking Your Pre Term Baby Home

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The birth of the baby is an amazing journey for all parents. Sometimes, due to circumstances you baby may be born earlier than expected. The feeling of joy is now mixed with anxiety.

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

When will she be ready?

The first question that may arise in your mind is your pre-term baby ready to go home?

Well, no NICU advices to take a pre-mature baby home, until they are sure about the baby’s health.

Though you can check for some signs of readiness on your own. They are like:

Does she recognize your voice:Has your baby adjusted with you well? Your pre-term baby should be able to recognize your voice or touch and sooth down when  she is restless.

Do you know about her feeding needs:Have you adjusted with your pre-term baby? You should be comfortable and confident enough about taking care of your pre-mature baby. You should know well about the feeding needs and other needs of your pre-term baby.

Can she be fed orally:Is your baby taking the feeds well? Either breastfeed or formula feed, your pre-term baby must be able to feed orally before she is ready to go home.

Is her temperature alright:Is she maintaining a stable temperature? In an open crib, your baby should be able to maintain a stable temperature before she goes home.

Is she gaining weight:If your pre-term baby has begun to gain weight, it means that she has begun to adapt to the new life and ready to go home.

Steps to take before getting her discharged.

Before you take your pre-term baby home, the hospital allows a period of “rooming in” with your baby so as to allow both the mother and the baby to adjust and adapt to each other.

While you prepare for the baby’s discharge, you need to carry out some processes as listed here:

  1. Get the training in using specialized instruments that you may need to carry home for your baby like apnea monitor or oxygen tank & mask In special circumstances.
  2. Check the medical records and insurance cover
  3. Choose a pediatrician and make advance appointments
  4. Get the follow up plans prepared and documented

Medical precautions to take after her discharge.

Though your baby may not need specialized medical care by now, but supportive medical care may be needed and your little one may need regular medical care and evaluation.

Some pre-term babies may however, need special medical care when they face common medical problems:

APNEA:Pre-mature babies may often have periods when they stop breathing for a while, the condition is called apnea usually these brief pauses are normal. However, this condition improves as the baby matures. If your pre-term baby is also discharged with mild episodes of apnea, you may need to carry an apnea monitor as advised by the doctor. You may also have to attend CPR training sessions.

INFECTIONS:The immune system of your pre-term baby may still not be mature enough and your baby may be prone to infections. You can consult your doctor for immunization that preventyour baby from viral infections. Following adequate hygienic measures while handling your baby is the only way out to prevent the baby from any such infections.

Preparing the home for your pre-term baby.

While you prepare to take your pre-term baby home, you also need to do some preparations.The baby’s room in the house should be well ventilated and quiet. The baby should not be disturbed much while asleep and visitors should be limited.

Nurturing your pre-term baby at home.

Your baby’s body systems are still developing and adjusting to the new life, so give her as much time as she needs and also a suitable environment.

Maintain silence:The house should be kept quiet and calm and the temperature should be regulated. You should keep at the baby’s side as much as possible and care should be taken that the baby is not disturbed while she is sleeping. As the baby matures her sleep-wake cycle is regularized and also her feeding time.

Maintain hygiene:Your pre-term baby’s immune system is still not mature enough, so you would need to take some precautions with the baby. Keep her surroundings clean and her crib free of any clutter. Always wash your hands or use a sanitizer before handling the baby and ask other family members and visitors to do the same.Limit outside visits to just the doctor’s clinic. Visits to public places and crowded places should be avoided.

No smoking:Do not allow people who smoke and people who show any slightest sign of infection or any illness to handle the baby.

Sleeping habits:Always make sure that your pre-term baby sleeps on her back so as to avoid any chance of SIDS.

Take care of her feeds:Be watchful about the number of feeds your baby takes. Your pre-term baby should take 8-10 feeds a day and the feeding intervals should not be more than 4 hours otherwise your baby may get dehydrated.

Go for kangaroo mother care:Practice kangaroo mother care to enhance skin to skin contact with your baby. Choose a warm room for KMC. Undress your baby to just a diaper. Then place your baby on your bare chest so that her head lies in between your breasts. Turn the baby’s head to a side so that your baby’s ear lies over your heart. Research indicates that kangaroo care can enhance parent-child bonding, promote breastfeeding, and improve the pre-term baby’s health. 

While your pre-term bay remains quiet while she develops to the state of a full term baby, you can make use of the quiet time to take care of yourself and recover to your normal health.Just maintain the necessary steps and let your baby grow into her pink of health.

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