November 24, 2016 12:00:36 am
During the ongoing World Prematurity Awareness month, that is observed worldwide every November to raise awareness of preterm births and the concerns of preterm babies and their families, the Department of Neonatology at Bharati Hospital will launch, for the first time, a take-home-kit for parents of preterm babies.
Parents will now be able to carryover strategies practiced at the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) class with ease, without having to spend additional time locating these items.
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Any child born before the completion of 37 weeks is called a preterm baby. According to a WHO report, 15 million babies are born early every year, which means one in 10 babies is preterm. The number of preterm births in India, as per the WHO data in 2012, is approximately 3,519,100 babies every year.
Development in preterm babies is at risk mainly because the body systems are not mature at birth and their sensory environment is drastically different in utero versus the NICU. While the degree of risk cannot be predicted at birth, studies have found links between the conditions associated with preterm birth and development such as jaundice and deafness, language delays or hypoglycemia and developmental delays, said Dr Sanjay Lalwani, medical director of Bharati Hospital.
To push the idea of parent education, the hospital has initiated a weekly family awareness and education class, that is conducted inside the NICU. The session will provide families an opportunity to understand and practice handling their babies to help boost their overall brain development of each baby leaving the NICU.
According to Dr Nandini Malshe, Associate Professor, Department of Neonatology at Bharati Vidyapeeth University Medical College, launching the new kit will also help the parents as it includes essential toys and instruction cards on how to use these toys at home.
Developmental care needs to be provided on a daily basis during playtime or just through interactions with the family.
The kit will allow families to use their time effectively with the babies. Each family will have the opportunity to use the kit under supervision at the hospital and then implement it at home, she said.
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