Babies born before 37 weeks of gestation are considered as premature babies. Such babies are prone to risks and complications as they have not finished their growth cycle in the womb. Mothers’ are always concerned about such babies as they can be prey to malnutrition or other problems. Therefore it is necessary to keep them in special care. There are many ways to do so like the neonatal care unit which is available in hospitals.
Special care needs
These care units have specialized machines which can keep the baby warm at temperatures just like the womb. They are prone to get infected with many airborne diseases and therefore are kept away from contact with others except mothers. The early the baby is born, more is the risk factor. All such babies are kept in the Neonatal intensive care unit also known as NICU. Premature babies, unlike normal babies, have underdeveloped parts such as lungs, skin, digestive and immune systems. With the advent of technology, it is now possible for a premature baby to survive even after such delicate situations with the help of medicines and other equipment.
NICU at a glance
NICUs are equipped with all the necessities such as monitoring systems with alarms, respiratory systems, 24/7 caring staff, resuscitation equipment and pediatric specialists along with a laboratory service for any emergencies. Most importantly you as a mother are available near the child. They are only familiar to you and know your touch and smell from which they connect with you. This equipment looks impressive and overwhelming but scary as well. It is necessary for you to get used to such equipment that you can take good care of your child while in the NICU in the initial days. The beeps and alarms mention the status of the baby’s development and should be monitored regularly. You should know which equipment works when and how to read them so that you are calm and the focus is never shifted.
Machines and alarm systems
Some machines that can be seen in NICUs are heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory and temperature measuring machines which constantly keep a vigil on the child and its movements. It is a good to know information for you so that you do not hit the panic button in case any alarm strikes. It may be a false one too as the babies’ move a lot and the belts and sensors may come off during this movement. There are a few cuffs and pads stuck on the chest of the baby which are connected with wires that go into a system which resembles a television. These systems trigger an alarm every hour or so depending on the requirement so that a vigil can be kept at every interval so that things do not go out of hand.