Taking care of a premature baby
Premature babies are born before the 37th week of pregnancy. According to statistical information, Globally 1 in 10 babies will be born early. Around 11% to 13% of the babies born in the United States are premature babies. Most of the twins and triplets are premature babies as well.
Prom can happen at 24 weeks its were there is a premature rupture of the membranes. Labour can be stopped if only to deter delivery for just a few more weeks. If you gave birth to a premature baby, you would need to learn how to provide appropriate care and assistance. Especially as a parent sits at the side of an incubator. Then you will be able to take good care of the baby when he/she is in need the most.
What are the characteristics of a premature baby?
There are some common characteristics that you can see in premature babies. The weight of a healthy baby at birth is around 7 pounds. However, the weight of a premature baby at birth is 5 pounds. Some of the babies are even born after 28 weeks and they would weigh around 2-3 pounds. Thanks to medical advancements, the lives of these babies can be saved as well. However, you will need to take good care of them to ensure their health in the future.
Why does your premature baby need special care?
Premature babies have underdeveloped organs and systems. They include the immune system, digestive system, lungs, and even the skin. Hence, you will need to support the child during the first few weeks or months, until they become strong to act as a healthy child.
When are premature babies discharged from the hospital?
Once a premature baby is born, he will be taken care of in the hospital. There are specialized facilities available in the hospitals to take good care of premature babies. When the baby meets certain requirements, the doctors would discharge him/her from the hospital.
The baby should be in a position to maintain proper body temperature when staying in an open crib for at least 24 hours. The doctors will also check whether the baby will be able to take all the feedings by breast or bottle without a supplemental tube. Moreover, doctors will see whether the baby can gain weight healthily. If these criteria are met, the premature baby will be discharged from the hospital.
How to take care of the premature baby after discharge?
There are numerous methods available for you to follow when you are taking care of the premature baby after discharge. Here are some of the most prominent methods out of them.
- Work closely with a pediatrician
When the baby is discharged from the hospital, you will need to work along with a pediatrician. The pediatrician will share details on how you should take care of the baby during different stages of development. The pediatrician will also share with you information on how you should feed, bathe, and change the clothes of your baby. On top of that, you can get information on how to provide medications to the baby.
You can also schedule appointments to meet the pediatrician regularly. Then he will inspect your baby and tell whether the baby is in good health or not.
- Feed your baby in the right way
Breast milk will be the best source of nutrition for your baby. Therefore, you should keep breast milk as the main source of nutrition. Breast milk offers vitamins, protein, and minerals that can cater to the high nutritional requirements of a premature baby. You can also think about mixing break milk along with one of the human milk fortifiers. Then you will be able to provide specialized nutrition needed by the premature baby.
- Keep your home clean
Before you bring the newborn baby home, you will need to keep the home clean. That’s because your baby is not having a fully developed immune system. Due to the same reason, there is a high possibility for the baby to be subjected to health issues.
If visitors come to your home, you will need to make sure that they wash their hands properly with soap before touching the baby. You should also do the same before you feed the baby or touch the baby. If there are pets at home, you should be extra careful about the cleanliness.
- Allow the baby to remain warm and cozy
You should create a warm and cozy environment for the baby to spend time with. You will need to dress the baby according to the temperature. You can also get a cute looking hat, which would deliver a cozy experience to the baby. That’s because your baby would lose a considerable amount of body heat via the head. The head of your baby is relatively large when compared to other parts of the baby. Hence, you will need to pay special attention to this.
- Put the baby to sleep on the back
Sleeping and feeding play a major role in the development of your premature baby. Premature babies tend to sleep for more hours when compared to other babies. However, their sleeping periods are short. Therefore, you will have to keep an eye on your baby throughout 24 hours of the day. You will need to make sure that you put the premature baby to sleep on the back at all times as well. This will help you to reduce the risk associated with SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
Enjoy the time with your baby
There is no reason for you to get stressed after you give birth to a premature baby. You need to understand that jitters are a part of parenthood. Therefore, you will need to enjoy the welcome of the newborn baby to the family. In the meantime, you just need to pay special attention to the good health of the baby and follow the directions as shared by your pediatrician. Always look for moments to enjoy parenthood. You will be able to have some of the most beautiful memories in your life when you are taking good care of the newborn baby.