Learn how to prepare for and bond with a premature baby.
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Preparing for a Premature Baby Dr. Stork: Well, we have another question and it comes from Davenport, Iowa. It’s from Denise. She writes My OB-GYN told me that there is a very high chance my baby will be born premature. What should I do to be prepared? And will I be able to bond with my baby if she’s born prematurely? Dr. Arnold: Those are really two great questions because obviously no one wants to have a premature baby. No one wants to have a baby even he is full term who has complications. One of the things you can do to prepare for such an occurrence would be to have what’s called a BUMP, which is a Baby Urgent Medical Plan. And use their mnemonic BUMP for short and so you know once you have decided with your obstetrician where you’re going to deliver depending on where you’re at, you may or may not have any cue right in the location where you’re delivering. So if you don’t have any cue that’s really ideal to find out where the closest clinic was in your community and to make that sort of investigation and really determining that’s the place where I might take my baby, should I need that level of care as part of your pregnancy plan. So many cues are level one meaning that they care for babies with mild problems such as mild pre-maturity or mild respiratory stress infection and then there’s a level three Nikki, which is the highest level of care. So if there are nature life threatening issues you might need the level three. So it’s good to know sort of where those institutions are in your area. Dr. Sears: So it’s good to be prepared like that and I see you can be a scary place for parents because there are tubes and wires and machines making noises and it can be pretty overwhelming. Dr. Arnold: Absolutely and if you have an opportunity where you know that pre-term delivery is a possibility it’s even better if you can to meet with a neonatologist like myself early so you get to know, asked all your questions ahead of time before your end of distress of that situation. Dr. Sears: I know a lot of babies are and I see there kind of stuck and they isolate there and the parents don’t think they can bond with their baby but those are all the things they can do, right. Dr. Arnold: Oh absolutely, you know we put babies in these incubators to keep them warm because they’re premature. Their skin isn’t able to maintain their body temperature, so they need that warmth, the humidity as well so they don’t lose a lot of what we call insensible water losses they are just fluid but babies can come out of there and they can actually do a couple of things. You can have help bathe your baby. You can help feed your baby. You can help dress your baby but most importantly, you can do something called kangaroo care. Dr. Sears: Yeah, kangaroo care is pretty cool, they actually discover this, do we have a baby around here too? Dr. Ordon: I’ll get that for you Jim. Dr. Sears: The baby I think is getting is getting hot there. Dr. Ordon: It’s okay for the baby to come out. Dr. Sears: He’s ready to come out, absolutely Dr. Arnold: It is. Dr. Ordon: Support that hand, right. Dr. Stork: Drew does not know how to use the incubator. Dr. Ordon: I’m doing okay. Dr. Arnold: Doing good, doing well. Dr. Sears: But they found, they actually discovered this concept in Columbia, in SEU that didn’t have a lot of incubators so they had a lot of the moms hold their own babies, skin to skin to kind of help keep them warm and normally you take your shirt, unbutton your shirt and have the baby skin to skin and they found those babies they’re calmer and they respond better or they feed better. They breathe better. There’s a lot of benefits just being skin to skin to mom and there are actually many benefits for mom too that helps boost her mothering hormones that helps mom bond to the baby because with the baby stuck in there the parents feel helpless and this helps the current feel like they’re helping the baby and they are. Dr. Arnold: And mom or dad can do that. You kn