Babies who need additional care

Sometimes babies need additional care in hospital or postnatal ward or specialist care in neonatal unit.  Having a baby admitted to a neonatal unit is stressful and worrying for parents. Staff in Northern Trust will provide you with information and support if your baby requires additional care.  In the Northern Trust the neonatal unit is based at Antrim Area Hospital.

Babies who may require additional care and admission to neonatal service are generally babies who are

  • born prematurely
  • small with low birth weight
  • have infections
  • born to diabetic mothers or mothers with long term medical conditions
  • jaundiced
  • have had a difficult delivery
  • awaiting or recovering from complex surgery
  • suffering from drug or alcohol withdrawal if their mother was using during the pregnancy

In the neonatal unit your baby may be in an incubator or on a special breathing machine.  Your baby may have tubes and wires attached to their face and body.  The staff in the neonatal unit with support you to become involved in your baby’s care.  Once your baby’s condition is stable you may be able to hold your baby.

All babies benefit from their mother’s breast milk.  Your baby may be too sick to take the feed themselves.  The nursing staff will support you to express breast milk which can then be either frozen or given to your baby through a tube.

The UNICEF Baby Friendly You and Your Baby Leaflet provide parents with information on supporting love and nurture on the neonatal unit.

The TinyLife Premature Baby Charity resources may help support you with your experience in the neonatal unit.

For further information regarding babies who need additional care, please speak to your midwife or paediatrician.

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