Medical challenges after starting out in the NICU

Neonatologist Philippe Friedlich, MD, explains how infant development may be affected by long stays in the NICU and how family involvement can have a positive impact
Medical Challenges Faced By Children Who Started In The NICU
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Medical challenges after starting out in the NICU

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Many parents wonder, how well is my baby going to do? It depends. It depends on how premature the baby is. For the most part, the most premature babies are still the babies with the more challenges long-term. So if they spend many weeks or months in the NICU, the longer the stay, sometimes the longer the after NICU development may be affected. But that is not true on an individual basis. And the best thing that parents can do to optimize the outcome of their baby is one, to get involved very early. We know that if the parents attend the care of their baby on a regular basis, if they provide the exercise or the physical therapy that is very important as the NICU stay happened. It is those babies that do better as compared to when the family is not so involved. And what we tell parents is very simple. Despite all the technology and all the improvement in the survival and the outcome of the babies, scientifically it has been shown that the involvement of the family during and after the NICU correlates directly with the chance for the best outcome for your baby. So even if there are hard times and hard decisions for you to make in the NICU, the knowledge that you have that you can do something about it and as a parent you are integral to the care of your child. And his or her outcome will really depend on your involvement.

Neonatologist Philippe Friedlich, MD, explains how infant development may be affected by long stays in the NICU and how family involvement can have a positive impact

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Philippe Friedlich, MD

Neonatologist

Philippe Friedlich, MD, MS Epi, MBA is the Associate Director and Division Chief of the Center for Fetal and Neonatal Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, as well as the Medical Director of the hospital’s Newborn & Infant Critical Care Unit (NICCU). Dr. Friedlich is a professor of Pediatrics and Surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.   

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