A NICU is a neonatal intensive care unit, which is a hospital unit for sick newborns. Babies who are admitted to NICUs include those who are born prematurely (before 37 weeks’ gestation), have surgical conditions, birth defects, genetic syndromes, metabolic problems, and/or any other unexpected complications that arise during the newborn period, such as sepsis (infection), hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), or severe hyperbilirubinemia (jaundice). Learn about the different levels of the NICU, the professionals who take care of the patients and their families, and how the babies are cared for in this helpful guide for parents.
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In the months and weeks leading up to the birth of your baby you’ll have a lot on your mind. It can feel like a very exciting and also very stressful time trying to get everything ready and tie up loose ends before your baby arrives. The important thing to remember is that our bodies are meant to make milk, and even though every mother and baby have different experiences, breastfeeding is a completely normal process.
The first week of breastfeeding contains many of the biggest pitfalls for moms, but if you approach it confidently and with supportive helpers, you can make great strides toward breastfeeding success.
During the “4th trimester” or postpartum period, moms are just beginning to get a handle on life with their new baby. The most important thing is that you and baby and resting, well-fed, and spending lots of time cuddling.
Whether you are co-sleeping or putting your baby in a crib at night, you’re probably waking up frequently to breastfeed. During the first month, babies will have varying feeding habits.
Nutrition for you is important during breastfeeding because your body is working hard to produce milk for the baby. You’re using a lot more calories than normal to make that milk and you want to make sure that you’re eating well and staying hydrated.
The key to a successful transition is to create a plan and to find the breastfeeding cheerleaders in your life.
In the United States, there are many laws protecting the right to breastfeed in public or even in private spaces such as business, airports, etc. If you are ever asked to stop breastfeeding by someone, let them know that you have the legal right to continue.
You may have noticed that your body and the baby’s habits have changed steadily since the first weeks of breastfeeding. You have probably felt that your breasts are beginning to regulate your milk and you don’t experience as much fullness as you used to. Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t making enough milk, it just means your body is doing a better job matching your baby’s appetite.
By the third and fourth month of breastfeeding, you have provided your baby with a lowered risk of Type 1 childhood diabetes and asthma.