If your baby is born premature, he or she might have some health problems, or difficulty while taking birth. In this case, your baby may have to go to NICU.
NICU stands for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Here, your baby will get around-the-clock care from a team of experts. Most of these babies go to the NICU within 24 hours after taking birth.
However, the duration of stay depends on your baby’s health condition. Some babies stay in NICU only for a few hours or days, while others may stay for weeks or months. If your baby weighs up to 1.5 or 1 kg, then the duration of stay may extend up to 1 to 1.5 months. But if your baby weighs only up to 500 grams, then the survival rate of your baby might be 60-70%.
There are three levels of NICU:
- Level 1 – Basic treatment NICU
- Level 2 – Middle-level NICU
- Level 3 – Intensive care NICU
Reasons for needing NICU
The reasons why a newborn baby needs NICU are:
1. Premature baby
Almost 15 percent of the babies born in our country are premature. These are the babies who don’t complete 40 weeks before taking birth. They are usually born within the 37th week and they also fall under the third level of NICU.
2. Low birth weight
Another reason for NICU treatment is low birth weight. Usually, a normal newborn baby weighs up to 3 kgs. But if your baby weighs only up to 2.5 or 1.8 kgs, he or she immediately requires NICU treatment. However, if your baby is born within the 35th week, then NICU will be needed.
Approximately, 80 percent of the babies under NICU treatment weigh under 2 kgs. In India, almost 10 out of 100 babies need NICU. So, make sure you prepare yourself before giving birth to a child. If these symptoms arise, your baby may need NICU treatment.
3. Breathing problem
Many newborn babies have breathing problems after taking birth. In India, almost 10 out 100 newborn babies have breathing problems and they require NICU.
However, if your baby is not crying after taking birth, it is mostly found that he or she may have a deficit of oxygen in the organs. If there is a deficit of oxygen in the heart, lungs, and brain of your baby, then the organs will get affected. These babies fall under the category of Hypoxic-Ischemic baby.
If you or anyone from your family is carrying any infection, it will affect your baby. These infections are very common nowadays, so make sure to use handwash before you touch your baby.
Approximately, 25 percent out of 100 babies under NICU have infections and they recover within 3-10 weeks. However, make sure to advise your family relatives to wash their hands before touching the baby.
If your baby has jaundice, then he or she doesn’t have to stay in NICU for a long time. Most of the babies with jaundice recovers within 2-5 days. However, if your baby has breathing problems, the duration of stay in NICU may last up to 10-15 days.
Nowadays, if your baby comes under NICU, then he or she may not take much time to recover. The team of NICU is improving day-by-day with advanced technologies and they’re also gaining knowledge. Therefore, the survival rates of newborn babies who need NICU have increased.
However, you have to make sure that you choose the best NICU faculty who are accredited to level 3.