Babies that are born before 37 weeks are considered premature. Obviously, the earlier they are born, the more problems they will experience in the body. Every effort is made to keep the baby in utero until the last possible second, but sometimes that is not possible.
The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in the hospital is made up of dedicated nurses and doctors who want your baby to thrive. They are prepared for the many common illnesses that may befall a premature baby.
Also, doctors would not release your baby unless they thought that he was okay to live away from the monitored life in the ward. You may feel a bit shaky because you won’t have all of those doctors around 24/7, but they will make sure you have all that you need.
Take the time to write down and ask all the questions you may have about bringing your baby home. Even if it seems mundane, ask anyway. You want to be comfortable and confident in your ability to care for your preemie.
Learn how to perform special tasks. Even if baby needs extra oxygen or certain medications administered, the doctor may still believe that they are strong enough to go home. They will in turn teach you how to care for any special equipment and how to safely administer medication in a sterile manner.
Check Your Insurance
Insurance is important but not for the reason you think. Yes, you need it to pay for hospital bills, but in the case of a preemie, check to see if home health care is a part of your plan. You may need a professional nurse to help you with day-to-day care and managing equipment for your baby. They can also make sure that you are taking care of baby properly when they aren’t there.
Get Complete Discharge Instructions
Before you take baby home, make sure that you understand all of the instructions that the doctors and nurses are giving you. If you need to, create a schedule board to know when certain activities have to be done so things are straight in your head. Remember, the doctors are only a phone call away if you have problems.
Last but not least, germ-proof your home as much as possible. Baby is still fragile and keeping the air clean is important. Anyone with a cold needs to stay away to protect baby’s immune system until it matures.