Premature babies are often fed intravenously, or through tubes inserted into one of the baby's veins. This 'IV nutrition' is critical for helping your baby get stronger. Learn how this process works, and how you can keep your breast milk supply up so that when baby is ready he can make the transition to breastfeeding.
Every parent looks forward to the day their baby will be discharged from the NICU, but having the baby home is going to present a new set of challenges for you. The more you can be mentally prepared, the easier it should be. This resource lists some realities you may face once you are home with your baby, and ways you can prepare for your baby's discharge. © TWN
This brochure thanks family and friends for all of the love and support received while the baby has been in the NICU. Now that the family is coming home, they will need continued help and support. The doctors and nurses have provided information on how to keep the family and baby safe, happy and healthy, and there will be some extra precautions taken for the time being. © NICU Parent Network: Hand to Hold
This birth defect in the spine and spinal cord happens early in pregnancy. The bones of the spine don't fully form around the spinal cord. This creates a gap where nerves push out from the spine. In severe cases, a sac holding part of the spinal cord comes out of the skin of the back.
When a baby is in the womb, it doesn't use its lungs. The oxygen in its blood comes from its mother. Because of this, an unborn baby has a special blood vessel called the "ductus arteriosis." It connects the baby's aorta and pulmonary artery. Soon after birth, this vessel should close. But with this condition, it stays open. This can cause serious issues.
Sometimes a baby is born with a heart problem. This is known as a congenital heart defect. The baby may seem healthy and fine. But the defect could cause a serious threat to his or her life. A test called pulse oximetry can help find if there is a problem before a baby goes home from the hospital. This can help a baby get early treatment if needed.
A baby with hydrocephalus has extra fluid around the brain. This fluid is called cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Too much CSF can increase the pressure in your baby's head. This causes the bones in your baby's skull to expand and separate. The baby's head may look larger than normal.
Low birth weight is a term used to describe babies who are born weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces (2,500 grams). An average newborn usually weighs about 8 pounds. A low-birth-weight baby may be healthy even though he or she is small. But a low-birth-weight baby can also have many serious health problems.
Meconium aspiration happens when a newborn breathes in a mixture of meconium and amniotic fluid. Amniotic fluid is the liquid that surrounds the baby in the womb. Meconium is the baby's first stool, or poop, which is sticky, thick, and dark green. It is typically passed in the womb during early pregnancy and again in the first few days after birth.
The normal length of pregnancy is 37 to 41 weeks. Postmaturity is a word used to describe babies born after 42 weeks. Very few babies are born at 42 weeks or later. Other terms often used to describe these late births include post-term, postmaturity, prolonged pregnancy, and post-dates pregnancy.
Persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN) happens in newborn babies. It occurs when a newborn's circulation continues to flow as it did while in the uterus. When this happens, too much blood flow bypasses the baby's lungs. This is sometimes called persistent fetal circulation.
Retinopathy of prematurity is an eye problem that happens to premature babies. The retina lines the back of the eye. It receives light as it comes through the pupil. From there, the optic nerve sends signals to the brain. Retinopathy of prematurity is a problem of the blood vessels of the retina.
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden and unexplained death of a baby younger than 1 year old. SIDS is sometimes called crib death because the death may happen when a baby is sleeping in a crib. It's one of the leading causes of death in babies from ages 1 month to 1 year. Read on to learn more.
Critical congenital heart disease (CCHD) represents a group of heart defects that cause serious, life- threatening symptoms, but are often treatable if detected early. Learn about this simple screening test that uses non-invasive pulse oximetry to measure how much oxygen is in the blood; helping to identify babies who may be affected by CCHD before they leave the hospital.
Your child has a heart problem that includes a hypoplastic ventricle. This means that one of the ventricles is either too small or is absent. The most common treatment for this problem is heart surgery. This is often done in 3 stages. This sheet explains what is done during the second stage (stage II). The surgery can help relieve your child's symptoms.
Your child has a defect in the heart called a hypoplastic ventricle. This means that 1 of the ventricles is either too small or absent. The most common treatment is heart surgery. It is often done in 3 stages. The surgery does not fully repair the heart problem. But it can relieve symptoms. And it can increase your child's chances to live a more normal life.
In the lungs, air travels through branching airways called bronchial tubes. These end in tiny sacs called alveoli. Sometimes alveoli rupture (break). This causes air to leak into the space between the lungs and the chest wall. These air leaks cause problems with breathing and can lead to lung damage.
If your baby has BPD, they will be cared for in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Severe cases of BPD can need a long stay in the hospital. Your baby may still need treatment after going home. This sheet can help you know what to expect when your baby is ready to leave the NICU.