Neonatology means care of the newborn baby during the first 28 days of life. This period is very crucial as babies are vulnerable to infections and illnesses. Most of the babies are born healthy and need essential newborn care only. Some babies who are sick or born early (preterm) need critical newborn care.
Ratan Hospital for Women and Children has a team of dedicated doctors and nurses to provide high quality essential as well as critical neonatal care in Patna. The typical journey of a newborn is as follows.
The prospective parents get an opportunity to meet the neonatologist even before the baby is born. They can clear any doubts that they have regarding the baby. First time mothers find these sessions especially useful in preparing them for motherhood.
The mode of delivery is planned by the obstetrician. The neonatology team is present at the time of birth. This is to ensure that the baby remains well and gets immediate and essential care that is required. We have a newborn care corner in the labour room as well as the operation theatre. The equipment and warmers in these care corners are truly world class. It is our resolve to ensure that no child should suffer from disability that could have been prevented.
Well babies are nursed with mothers. Unwell babies are admitted to the NICU.
Examination of the Newborn
All babies are thoroughly examined at the time of birth and 6 to 12 hours after birth. This is to pick up any birth defects or anomalies so that timely and appropriate treatment can be planned if needed. We also screen for congenital cyanotic heart disease (CCHD) in all newborns. Notably, screening for birth defects has received special attention from the government of India under the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK).
Initiation and Establishment of Breast Feeding
We aim to start breast feeding within the first hour of birth and establish it before discharge from the hospital. Throughout the hospital stay we endeavor to keep the mother and the baby together unless it is absolutely necessary to provide care in separate areas. This helps in breast feeding and strengthens emotional bonding.
Oral polio, Hepatitis B and BCG vaccines are administered within the first 24 hours of birth. Further immunisations are given as per the protocol during follow up appointments. We guide the parents and help them to choose the right vaccines for their baby.
Discharge and Follow-up
Once feeding is established and the baby is well we discharge you home. Follow up is arranged in our well baby clinic.
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
We have a state of the art NICU with 25 beds where we look after sick babies who are born in our hospital as well as those who are referred from outside. The unit is equipped with highly advanced warmers, incubators, ventilators and phototherapy units. A dedicated team of skilled doctors and nurses are involved in the care of the babies.We communicate and keep the parents updated about their baby’s condition on a regular basis. We manage sick term newborns with breathing difficulty, jaundice, infections, birth defects etc. We also manage preterm and low birth weight babies. We transfer the babies from the NICU to nursery and then back to mothers once their clinical condition improves. Follow up of babies discharged from NICU is done in our high risk baby clinic where growth and neurodevelopment of the baby are closely monitored.