Senior Care - How to Provide Elderly Independence

Two Things To Consider When Bringing Your Premature Baby Home

by Stephen Silva

A baby is considered premature when they are born less than 37 weeks gestation. In the United States, one out of every ten babies is born early. Parents of preemies often feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to properly care for their baby. This is especially true for babies born very preterm with low birth weights which often requires lengthy stays in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). There does come a day though when preemies get to go home, and here are a few things to consider when that finally happens.

Don't Take Your Baby Out in Public Right Away

After being in the hospital for so long, it is understandable that parents of preemies want to finally let their baby meet friends and relatives. This is not always wise, however. Babies who have spent so much time in the hospital are susceptible to getting colds, influenza, and other contagious illnesses.

Besides that, when they do get sick, it could be detrimental to their fragile health. If it is flu season, parents should be especially cautious of who holds or touches their baby. This includes not letting a lot of visitors come to see the baby. It may be a good idea to stay indoors until the baby gets older and stronger. Some health care professionals recommend keeping your preemie inside for three months after they come home.

Your Baby Might Need Home Health Care Equipment

Premature babies who are well enough to leave the NICU might still need health care at home. Some types of health care equipment that might be needed include:

  • Apnea monitor - Used for monitoring your baby's breathing and signals interruptions in the breathing or a heart rate that is too fast or too slow
  • Oxygen - If a baby has a diagnosis of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, they will need to have extra oxygen until their lungs heal properly
  • Feeding supplies - Due to poor feeding, some preemies need to be fed through a feeding tube and this may continue at home

Before getting discharged from the NICU, your neonatologist will let you know what kinds of equipment your baby may need at home. The nurses will ensure you get proper training on all of the equipment. It will also be a good idea to contact your health insurance company so you know how the equipment will be covered. If your baby does have apnea or other types of breathing problems, you may want to get trained in CPR as well.

For more information, contact Medi-Rents & Sales Inc or a similar company.