A health professional has offered some advice/tips that could prevent young parents from going into the neonatal unit after birth.
Babies are sent to the neonatal unit if they are born sick, either prematurely (before 37 weeks of pregnancy), or full term (after 37 weeks). Every year, it is estimated that over 100,000 babies are cared for in neonatal units in the UK. However, the actual number of young parents is not given.
Some admissions onto NNU’s for babies can not be avoided, irrespective of the mother’s age. Some mums will do all they are asked to do, however, they could still face challenges that would require their baby to have additional support when they are born. Despite this, many admissions can be avoided.
This is a health professionals advice regarding this particularly relevant research for teenage mums.
Tips that could Prevent Going into the Neonatal Unit
Smoking: Smoking when pregnant or if your baby is exposed to second hand smoke before and after birth is a significant risk factor for pregnancy complications. It is really important to speak to your Midwife who can discuss this and give you a lot more information.
Drugs: Medicines either prescribed or taken recreationally need to be discussed with a health professional when you are pregnant. This is because many of them can cause issues for a baby during its development.
To emphasise: it is absolutely necessary to discuss any medication with your GP or midwife while pregnant.
Attending all health appointments: Sometimes when you visit the midwife or GP it can be difficult to discuss any concerns or worries you have. However, it is very important that you do. When attending clinics even during COVID 19, midwives will check your urine and Blood Pressure. They will also listen to baby’s heart beat all these will give a good indication if you and baby are well. It is really important to speak up if you have any worries or feel things are different. For instance, if baby is moving less, you should contact your midwifery services and speak to someone. Catching things early is much better.
Looking after your health: To grow a healthy baby, mum needs to look after herself too. It is important that mum eats well and gets plenty of rest as growing a baby is hard work. It is important that if you are worried about anything you contact the GP or MW. For example, infections or having an elevated Blood Pressure (pre-eclampsia) can be a cause of premature birth. Therefore, if you are worried about anything, getting it checked is best for mum and baby.
To see the statistics: https://www.bliss.org.uk/research-campaigns/neonatal-care-statistics