Pregnancy and birth require proper planning and expert guidance from caregivers. Birth is indeed a complex process, and the baby needs to adjust to the outer environment of the uterus after the birth. Moreover, the doctor checks the vital signs of the baby to ensure the child is healthy and not suffering from any medical condition. Usually, temperature, breathing rate, heart rate etc., are monitored minutely.
However, in some instances, if the mother is suffering from medical issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, and intake of medications for a particular disease, then complexities can arise. Under these circumstances, the only solution to save and cure the baby is to get admitted to the best NICU in Kolkata.
What is NICU?
NICU, also known as Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, is a specialized medical unit where premature or ill babies are admitted. They are kept under the supervision of caregivers 24×7 and require intense monitoring and treatment.
This unit includes a team specializing in pediatrics, neonatologist, pharmacist and trained nurses. The unit is equipped with incubators, feeding tubes, and oxygen hood and everything that requires a baby to get proper treatment.
When does a baby require NICU care?
Babies who require NICU treatment are –
Born early, i.e. before 37 weeks of pregnancy.
Babies with a low birth weight (Less than 2.5 kg).
Suffering from congenital disabilities, such as breathing problems, heart problems, etc.
The baby is suffering from severe infections.
Congenital twins or any other kind of abnormalities.
Certain complications are generated because of maternal conditions, which include:
The age of the mother is less than 16 years.
Abusive use of drugs and alcohol during or before pregnancy.
Suffering from long term medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.
Presence of any sexually transmitted disease.
If there are chances of multiple pregnancies.
Deficiency of amniotic fluid.
Abnormal position of the baby.
Changes in the organ of the baby due to trauma.
Other than these, if the baby is found to have seizures, low blood sugar or requires blood transfusion after birth, NICU is the only solution.
7 Common medical conditions that require admission to NICU
NICU is part of the neonatal department, where babies are admitted right after birth due to medical issues, such as –
This is a common medical condition which requires intensive care. If the birth is less than 37 weeks, then the babies born face difficulty in coping with the lifestyle outside the uterus. The major challenges include low birth weight, unable to control body temperature, unable to feed, etc. Neurological disorders often accompany these. Even after birth, these babies remain dependent on the uterine environment. And, NICU is capable of creating such a controlled environment.
Unable to control body temperature
Babies are often too small and cannot control their body temperature. They don’t have enough fat bodies to produce heat when compared to healthy babies. So, NICU is the right place where they get a controlled environment. The incubator or isolette support helps them control their temperature right from birth.
Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS)
This is a type of respiratory problem where the lungs are incapable of conducting normal berating processes due to immature lungs. The only way to support the baby is through an oxygen mask and breathing tube. If the issue turns out to be critical, the child is put on a ventilator at the NICU.
Baby is unable to feed
It is true that breast milk is considered to be an essential food for the baby right after birth. However, in the case of premature newborns, they cannot get the nutrition or are unable to feed on breast milk. Thus, they need to be fed intravenously. In this case, NICU is required, and the feeding process is called Gavage Feeding.
Sepsis or infection
This is the most common reason for the death of babies right after birth. Premature babies are more prone to such infections, and the body starts attacking its own tissues in this situation. Usually, the child is unable to fight the infection and succumbs to death. Thus, they need to be shifted to NICU immediately for intensive monitoring and antibiotic treatment. If the child is born early, the rate of getting infected is relatively higher.
This is also known as low blood sugar and is usually passed on to the child from the mother during the gestational period. This medical condition is also known as gestational diabetes and occurs only if the mother might be suffering from diabetes for a prolonged time.
During pregnancy, it is always advised to stay healthy and keep away from stress. Otherwise, it can lead to traumatic deliveries. This, in turn, reduces the baby’s blood flow and oxygen supply, leading to brain damage. NICU provides room for a new technique called whole-body cooling, which has the capability to treat babies with perinatal depression.
How long will your baby stay in the NICU?
Well, it is quite challenging to answer this. The time cannot be predetermined, and it depends on the nature of treatment and how early the baby is getting cured. In NICU, no visitors are granted access except the mother. Thus, for an excellent neonatal intensive care unit, experienced doctors, and advanced equipment, ILS Hospitals is a trusted name.