Support for Premature Babies: March 31, 2017
More than 200,000 babies in the U.S. are born premature every year. It can be a traumatic experience for the baby and family.
Tye Davis was only 35 weeks pregnancy when she started having contractions. “I thought it was gas pains actually. I said you know I think we should time these gas pains.”
When the couple arrived at the hospital, doctors told Tye she would have to deliver the baby immediately. “I immediately looked at him, started crying. We don’t even have a car seat! Then the reality sets in, what does this really mean? Total shock came over me,” said Tye.
Myles weighed five pounds when he was born. Unable to breathe on his own, he spent eight days in the neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU. “It was like someone just took your soul away. Going home without your baby is one of the most devastating things in the world,” said Tye.
After delivery, doctors encourage parents to have skin to skin contact with their baby, even if the baby is born premature.
Dr. William Binder, a neonatologist on the medical staff of Lee Health, says while in the NICU, parents are encouraged to hold the baby, change diapers, feed the baby, so both parties can start to bond. “The important thing to recognize is that you can’t just treat the baby, the baby and the parents are still connected. You can’t take care of just the baby without also treating the parents.”
Health experts work to help parents feel confident in caring for their baby in the hospital. “They taught us how to change a diaper on a baby that was so small. They taught us how to take his temperature, and what his temperature should be,” said Tye.
Now at home, baby Myles is healthy and thriving.