The COVID19 pandemic saw a rise in early deliveries across the world. In a study conducted in the United States, the researchers have found that COVID19 diagnosis during pregnancy was associated with a 40% increased risk of preterm, a 60% increased risk of very preterm, and a 10% increased risk of early-term birth.
“There are many factors, which influence premature births, and getting a new life by fighting against all odds is a miracle,” says Dr Parimala V Thirumalesh the senior Neonatology & Paediatrics consultant at Bangaluru’s Aster CMI Hospital.
According to Dr Parimala, post-delivery the early new-borns need to be kept at the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU), which is a nursery in a hospital that provides around-the-clock care to sick or premature babies and is like an artificial womb where hardly any visitors are allowed as it will lead to infection.
In dealing with the post early birth scenario, Dr Parimala advises her patients to stick to basics in order to reduce the burden of additional stress that usually follows.
“Mother’s Milk is the best medicine for the baby so keep expressing your milk for present and future use, as it can be kept in frozen condition for six months,” she says.
“Colostrum or the first milk drops are rich in fighting cells and boost your baby’s immunity,” she adds.
Stressing on the role of communication and information, Dr Parimala opines that parents should build communication with the staff, nurses, and doctors for caring for their child; additionally, parents should ask queries at any time if they feel.
“Questions like, ‘Is my baby getting better?’ ‘What are the next short-term goals?’ ‘What are the biggest current issues?” are a few essential questions to ask for clarification,” she says.
“You can sing a song and spend some time with your babies as they can hear and feel your touch even if preterm,” Dr Parimala added.
It is very important for the parents to create a balanced routine to be with their baby and for that the mother should schedule a routine during the day or week to see the child.
“Additionally, track down alternate ways of holding with your child, changing a diaper, or soothing them and most importantly, do not feel guilty or sad or upset seeing your baby, as they can sense your emotions be as cheerful as possible and send positive vibes to your baby who is fighting hard,” she further added.
Admitting that getting stressed over the condition of the baby is natural, Dr Parimala says there is no need to panic or get scared and it is important to keep one surrounded by people who are sympathetic to the situation.
“Prematurity is at times a complex issue and seeking help from people who have had similar experiences in the past can be very helpful,” she said.