If your baby was born several months prematurely and is expected to be discharged soon, it's important for you to start preparing your home so it is ready. Here's why and a few ways to prepare your home so it will be a safe environment for your baby.
Medical conditions common to premature babies
Respiratory distress syndrome: Premature babies born around or before the 30th week of gestation often have what is called respiratory distress syndrome. The reason for this is because the surfactant that helps keep the lungs air sacs open starts to develop around the 30th week. This surfactant is crucial because the air sacs need to be able to open up so carbon dioxide can be released from the lungs. This is the primary reason premature babies are put on respirators, which help to force the air sacs open so carbon dioxide can be released.
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia: Unfortunately, the tissues in the lungs are unable to develop normally due to the lack of surfactant. This causes the cells to be structurally abnormal, which is a condition called bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Essentially, the lung cells are scarred. The good news, however, is that healthy new tissue can grow to replace the scarred tissue. In order to do that, the baby needs to be as healthy as possible, which means precautionary measures should be taken so the air and environment in the home is as safe as possible.
Hire an HVAC technician to improve indoor air quality
Hire an HVAC technician to inspect and clean the heating and air conditioning systems, as well as the vents and ducts. Also, consider installing a whole-house HEPA filtration system, which will remove fine particulate matter from the air in your home. However, this does not mean you should close the entire house up. Ventilating your home with fresh air by opening the windows occasionally can help clear away stale air, which can go a long way in improving the indoor air quality.
Hire a respiratory therapist for your baby
Your baby will likely need to have a respiratory therapist, such as Corner Home Medical, after discharge. It's a good idea to hire this professional as soon as possible so he or she can investigate your home to see if any changes need to be made for the health of your baby. For example, they may offer some advice to you regarding the placement of the medical equipment your baby may need after discharge, particularly the oxygen machine.