To offer premature or ill new born babies round the clock care they need, many hospitals have neonatal intensive care unit or NICU. For new parents coping with the fact that their child is in the NICU is extremely difficult and frightening. However, a child is given best possible and timely treatments in the intensive care unit, increasing their chance of survival.
The hospitals employ several qualified and experienced pediatricians for monitoring the new born babies in NICU. Understanding how the neonatal intensive care unit works and its importance helps parents handle the situation better. This post attempts to throw some light regarding the necessity of keeping a child in new born intensive care unit.
Reasons for Keeping a Child in New Born Intense Care Unit
There are a number of reasons for which your baby might be admitted to the neonatal unit. Generally, 37 weeks are required for a child’s growth to be completed before birth. If a child is born before 37 weeks then it is termed as preterm birth. Babies born before 32 weeks’ gestation or early are very week and small in size.
Their body parts even may not be fully developed. Preterm pregnancy can occur due to twin or multiple pregnancies, infection, high blood pressure or problems with the placenta. Full term new born babies are also kept in the neonatal care unit for combating various health problems like infection, jaundice and cardiac issues. The length of time a baby is kept in the intense care unit depends on the seriousness of their condition.
Understanding the Neonatal Unit
The neonatal units are specially designed keeping the needs of fragile new born babies in mind. In some hospitals the neonatal units are divided in several sections like neonatal intensive care unit, high dependency unit and special care baby unit. Severely ill babies, receiving intensive care are kept in the neonatal intensive care unit. Here, the babies get almost undivided attention from care givers.
The babies that are getting better and responding to treatments well are shifted to the high dependency unit. Babies who are getting ready to go home are kept in the special care baby unit. Dividing the neonatal care unit makes sure that each baby receives the right amount of care and attention that they deserve.
Who Take Care Of Babies In Neonatal Unit?
There are many types of caregivers, each with a different role and responsibility in the neonatal department. The charge nurse is one who monitors babies during particular shift. A primary nurse is assigned to each baby in the intensive care unit. Moreover, there are neonatal nurse practitioners who have special knowledge in neonatology care.
The entire team of caregivers is led by an experienced neonatologist. Medical residents, neonatology students and medical students are part of this team. The child care team may also consist of neurologists, cardiologist or special surgeons. Lab technicians, nutritionist and physical therapist support the caregivers in providing utmost care and best treatments to new born babies.
Handling Distress and Anxiety
For a new parent seeing their baby being taken to the neonatal unit can be overwhelming. They also have to visit this unit and spend time their. Being mentally prepared can really help in coping with such circumstances. Usually, there are many strange looking types of equipment inside the neonatal department.
The functions of these equipments include keeping the baby warm, monitoring vital body organs and offer breathing support. The staff working in the neonatal unit is liable to answer all your questions regarding these equipments. Feel free to ask them any question that is in your mind.
Preterm babies look fragile and much smaller in size. Some of them might have to stay in the neonatal unit for three months. Since you cannot do anything except rely on the doctors, choose the right experts. Discuss the situation in details with them to gain better understanding.
Keep visiting your baby often and share your worries with family and friends. Understanding of the neonatal care procedures will put an end to your worries.