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Understanding Neonatal Care: Nurturing Newborns in the NICU



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Understanding Neonatal Care: Nurturing Newborns in the NICU

 Neonatal care is given to a newborn baby from the time of birth through to the first month of life. Before birth, babies depend on their mother’s body for breathing, eating, eliminating waste and immune protection. After birth, this changes and babies have to rely on their own bodies. In some cases, there may be difficulties making the transition outside the womb. Preterm birth, a difficult birth, or birth defects can lead to complications that require specialised neonatal care.

The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is indicated for newborn babies that require highly specialised care. This is a special area of the hospital where advanced technology and trained healthcare professionals are available to take care of your little one. The neonatal intensive care unit is typically indicated for babies who:

· Are born prematurely (born before 37 weeks of pregnancy).
· Have a low birth weight.
· Have a specific medical condition that requires treatment in the hospital, such as breathing problems, heart problems, infections, or birth defects.
· Twins, triplets and other multiples may also be admitted to the NICU because they tend to be born earlier and smaller than single-born babies.

What does the NICU consist of?

The NICU may make you feel overwhelmed, but the equipment in this department is specially designed to provide your baby with the best possible care. Depending on what medical support babies need in the NICU, you may come across equipment such as:

All of these technologies and machinery help keep babies in the NICU comfortable, with as little extra handling as possible.
· Ventilators to help with breathing.
· Monitors to measure heart rate, brain function, breathing and the amount of oxygen in the blood.
· Machines that administer fluids and medicines.
· Phototherapy lights for treatment of jaundice.

To book your consultation contact;

Dr. Thabile Gcaba, Specialist Paediatrician
083 643 8400
83 Ismail C Meer Street, Durban