Pregnancy and child birth are two happy events in any family as well as for doctors. Fortunately, in approximately 75-80% of cases, things remain on course. However, in 20-25 % of cases, pregnancy and hence events around childbirth can get complicated. So parents to be /family need to be aware of such situations and ensure that in such cases delivery happens in a centre where both mother and baby can be taken care of.
Maternal risk factors include a pre-pregnancy medical condition, development of high blood pressure or diabetes during pregnancy, infections, bleeding or previous complicated pregnancy etc. which put both mother and baby at a higher risk. Many of these babies will need Neonatal ICU(NICU) care
Around 10% of the babies are born premature (before 37 weeks/8.5month) and need NICU care especially those born before 35 weeks. Depending upon the problems, babies may need ventilator support, intravenous nutrition and need to stay in NICU till they reach around 35 weeks gestation. They are at risk of developing infections, Jaundice and have feeding problems. Very tiny babies are at higher risk of neurodevelopmental issues also. However with modern facilities and expertise, we are able to save babies well below 1 kg or born after 24-25 weeks with good long-term results.
A baby may be born with a congenital anomaly of heart, intestine, respiratory tract or other systems. Usually, these anomalies are picked up on ultrasound well before birth and parents are counselled by a newborn specialist (Neonatologist), cardiologist/surgeon as needed. Fortunately, most of these conditions can be treated satisfactorily these days.
Other babies requiring NICU care include those unable to breathe well at birth or small for their time.
Parents and families of babies in NICU are kept informed about progress and plan of treatment of their baby on a regular basis by NICU team. We ensure that parents and extended family have access to baby in NICU and are partners in cathe re of their baby. Long-term care of these babies is initiated in the NICU itself to ensure they grow up into healthy individuals.