Your baby was born a few weeks early and needs some extra time to fully develop and grow. During that time, you and the hospital staff will work together to keep your baby warm and well-fed. And you have a special job-to stroke, cuddle, and love your baby.
Now that your baby is coming home, you will be busy with diapers, feedings, and the same basic care as any newborn baby. Your baby also will need help to stay warm. He or she needs to be fed small amounts slowly for a while. Your baby may be fed through a tube that runs down the nose or mouth into the belly until he or she is strong enough to suck from a breast or bottle.
Many newborn babies have a yellow tint to their skin and the whites of their eyes. This is called jaundice, and it usually goes away on its own. But jaundice can cause severe problems for babies who are born early, so you will need to watch for signs that your baby's jaundice does not go away or gets worse.
With the special care that your baby needs, you may feel overwhelmed at times. Remember that you and your partner also have needs. Take good care of yourselves and each other. Your doctor can help you and your family care for your baby.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: May 12, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Jennifer Merchant, MD - Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine
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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.