7Common Factors in NICU Mothers and Babies

No one can completely predict whether or not a pregnancy will end with a NICU stay for baby, but there are some common factors that can make a pregnancy high risk for mothers and babies. Pregnancies where one or more of these factors are present are more likely to

end in a NICU stay for baby.

Mothers with NICU babies often have one or more of these factors in common:

  • under the age of 16 or over 40
  • to little or too much amniotic fluid
  • premature rupture of membranes
  • sexually transmitted diseases
  • diabetes, either pregestational or gestational
  • hypertension(chronic or gestational) or pre eclampsia
  • drug, alcohol, or tobacco use during pregnancy
  • carrying multiples
  • unusual bleeding

Babies who spend time in the NICU generally have one or more of these factors present:

  • premature birth or an overdue baby
  • low birth weight, baby being small for it’s gestational age
  • breathing assistance given in the delivery room
  • medicine given in the delivery room
  • birth defects
  • herpes, chlamydia, Group B Strep, or other infections
  • low blood sugar
  • the need for oxygen or other monitoring
  • seizures
  • respiratory issues
  • seizures
  • other birth anomalies

Issues during delivery can factor in to whether or not your baby will need to spend some time in the NICU. Here are some common delivery complications that can contribute to a NICU stay:

  • cord around baby’s neck or knots in the cord
  • fetal distress or lack of oxygen during labor and delivery
  • breech or other unusual presentation during delivery
  • baby passing meconium (first stool) during labor or delivery
  • c- section or forceps delivery

Your healthcare provider will perform a thorough evaluation if one or more of these factors are present to determine if your baby would benefit from additional testing and observation, or the skilled care in the NICU. 

Next 6 What You Can Expect After Delivery

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