The following article contains helpful information about neonatal care, including:
- What is neonatal care?
- Reasons why babies are taken to neonatal care
- How neonatal care works
Hopefully, you’ll feel more relaxed about neonatal care after reading through all the details.
What Is Neonatal Care?
Neonatal care is a special type of care provided for premature or sick newborn babies. Whenever a baby is born too early or has a sickness, they will go to a hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. Often, you will hear this referred to as the NICU. Here, babies receive expert round-the-clock care so that they can recover as quickly as possible. This care is provided by neonatologists, neonatal nurses, and other healthcare professionals who have all undergone specialist training.
As a parent, it can be concerning if your newborn baby is taken to neonatal care. However, it’s important to remember that this only happens when there is a strong reason to do so. Here are some of the most common examples:
- Premature birth
- Low birth weight
- Sickness or infection
- Breathing problems
- A difficult birth (for example, a birth that lasted for more than 18 hours)
No matter what reason your baby is taken to neonatal care, they will always receive the best possible care. Plus, you will receive constant updates on their condition and the treatment that’s been given to them. Parents can also visit their babies in the NICU, which provides them with an opportunity to spend time together.
How Neonatal Care Works
While your baby is in neonatal care, they will receive care based on their specific condition. For instance, if your baby has been born underweight, the NICU care will include temperature-controlled beds, special feedings, and more. In some cases, they might even need to be transferred to another NICU at a different hospital, but this is entirely dependent on the circumstances.
Neonatal Care: FAQ
Parents usually have a lot of questions about neonatal care, which is completely natural. After all, you want your baby to be safe and healthy. Below, you’ll find some common questions about neonatal care, along with clear and easy-to-understand answers.
How Long Is Neonatal Care?
The time length of neonatal care varies from baby to baby. To give you a general idea, though, the average time a baby born between 28 and 31 weeks spends in neonatal care is 44 days, which is just over a month. Whether your baby is there for a couple of weeks or over a month, try not to worry or panic. As discussed earlier, your baby will be receiving the best possible care, which is what matters the most.
How Common Is Neonatal Care?
Neonatal care is more common than you think. The current estimate is that 9-13% of infants require neonatal care after being born, whether it’s because they have an infection or have been born prematurely.
What Happens After Neonatal Care?
As soon as your baby becomes stable, you’ll be able to start holding them and have skin-to-skin contact. This is great for both you and your baby. Then, once the final checks have been completed, your baby will be discharged from neonatal care. In the aftermath, neonatal outreach nurses will come to see you and your baby to ensure that your baby is doing well. As the needs of your baby decrease, the visits will become less frequent.