Premature babies are those born before the due date or generally at least the expected 37 weeks of gestation.
Since they have not reached the right stage before being brought into the world outside the womb, they are subject to more delicate and special care. Premature babies are usually smaller and weaker than normal babies who were born at the right time.
They also tend to grow at a slower pace and that developments are sometimes altered. This is why specialized procedures of caring for the preemie baby is needed particularly from the mother.
▪ A discharge from the hospital is the medical team’s assurance that your child could survive in the outside world. Before you leave, find time to check for the medical records and other papers like insurance coverage. Your new baby should be included in the policy.
▪ Be able to choose the pediatrician whom you think could best provide the medical care for your baby. Set up for appointments of your baby’s first check-up in the coming days. The check-up is crucial as your baby is subject to some series of tests that blood, vision and hearing tests.
⇒ Related Read: What To Do With Baby’s First Doctor Visit
▪ Be prepared for emergencies. You can undergo training for CPRs to deal with apnea problems. Monitors and other machines to be brought home from the hospital should not only be learned by you but also other family members who are expected to be taking care of the premature infant.
▪ Tell your spouse to prepare baby seats in the car. Your preemie baby should be transported through installed three-point harness system which is an infant-only car safety seat. You can also provide a convertible car safety seat composed of a five-point harness system.
▪ Hospitals may have different policies but it is advised that you attend hospital debriefing. Debriefings usually include discussions on taking care of your preemie at home. It is also the best time to ask questions and seek instructions.
At home, mothers should establish kangaroo care where she could make up for the lost moments while the baby is conditioned at the hospital NICU. Touch and other forms of skin-to-skin contact are helpful in fostering the timely development and growth of the newborn especially a preemie baby.
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