Baby health care for babies in NICU or HDU


Some parents anxieties and health issues of premature babies in NICU or HDU wards.

A-Z parent's common reactions
If your premature baby is in the NICU or HDU it has its ups and downs as a baby?s condition can change at any hour day or night.You may want to scream and shout at relatives as they say you?ll be Ok but sometimes its not that simple.Here are some feelings and emotions to let the world know of what  you could be experiencing whilst staying by babys cot until baby can go home.


  • Anxious waiting for upto date news of baby?s condition
  • Brave as you face a meeting with consultants
  • Crying seeing baby helpless in an incubator
  • Despair will baby pull through
  • Empty cannot wait to be a full time mum holding baby at home
  • Fearful of the long term effects of prematurity
  • Grateful for any good news on baby?s condition
  • Happy as baby takes a first full bottle or breastfeed
  • Isolated from the rest of the kids/family back at home
  • Joyful as baby gets over an infection 
  • Kissing baby for the first time during Kangaroo care
  • Loving the skin to skin contact the nurse lets you have with baby
  • Missing baby as you are discharged from hospital yet baby has to stay while longer
  • ok today no tears
  • pleased as the doctors say no more CPAP
  • Restless sitting by the phone as you nip home for a change of clothes
  • sad seeing baby so defenceless in an incubator
  • Tired
  • Unhappy yet more tests today
  • Very grateful to the hardworking NICU nurses
  • when can my baby come home feeling miserable
  • xrays yet again
  • yes baby can come home tomorrow
  • zzzzz contented baby asleep on my shoulder
A Premature baby in the NICU may too get sick like babies and children.  They are so tiny and sometimes not strong enough to fight off infections easily. They do tend to pick up germs, infections because of their vunerablility.Thats why it is so important to wash the germs away to keep infections at bay in all the Special Care Baby Units in the hospital.Hand wash gels are Important for all nursing staff,parents and relatives visiting the NICU.

A few infections that occur in the Nicu affecting tiny babies.

Blood stream infections intravascular access devices attached to baby can cause these.Babies can get sore where lines,monitor leads etc are attached to baby.pneumonia,conjunctivitis eye infection.

Apnea. Premature infants commonly have episodes of apnea, or pauses in breathing, that improve as they mature. Babies will not be discharged if the apnea causes a slow heart rate or a change in color. However, some nurseries send infants home on apnea monitors if the infants have mild apnea that does not cause a change in color or heart rate or require stimulation to make the baby breathe again. Other nurseries may monitor preemies until the breathing pattern reaches maturity
Other breathing problems. Preemies commonly have respiratory difficulties and need supplemental oxygen or a mechanical ventilator. Most recover and do not require supplemental oxygen by the time they graduate from the NICU. However, some develop a more chronic lung condition called bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), which involves scarring and inflammation in the lungs. Infants with BPD may need supplemental oxygen and medications for prolonged periods even after discharge. They can be sent home on oxygen or medications to help their lungs function better.

As your premature baby comes home you may relax  easier now that all the tests they may have had to have to do such as blood sugar tests,oxygen levels maintained,cpap etc are good enough for baby to be sent home.

You have to maintain vigilance in terms of avoiding coming into contact with people with infections such as coughs and colds.A premature  baby doesn?t yet have a strong enough immune system to ward infections as in older children.

Can a premature baby get thrush ?

the answer is yes it  in fact its more common amoung premature babies. Its caused by a fungal infection.An excess amount of fungus that causes the mouth membranes to become infected. White patches appear inside the mouth coating the tongue also white. Some mums drop a dummy on the floor then put it in their own mouth before passing it onto their baby but this is unacceptable if you want to keep your baby free from any type of infection let alone thrush.

Keep baby bottles etc clean and use a sterlizer/solution or boiling for 5 mins to  at least 6  months.Thrush can be passed on by breastfeeding to.Thrush can go through the mouth and straight to baby?s bum causing a rash nystatin cream is often prescribed for the bum and drops for the mouth.