Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
The birth of a baby is a wonderful and very complex process. Many physical and emotional changes occur for both mother and baby.
Before birth, the baby depends on functions from its mother. These include receiving oxygen, nutrition, eliminating waste, and immune protection. When a baby leaves the womb, its body systems must adapt. For example:
- The lungs must breathe air.
- The cardiac and pulmonary circulation changes.
- The digestive system must begin to process food and excrete waste.
- The kidneys must begin working to balance fluids and excrete waste.
- The liver and immune systems must begin working on their own.
Your baby's body systems must work together in a new way. In some cases, a baby has trouble making the transition outside the womb. Preterm birth, a difficult birth, or birth defects can make these changes more challenging, but a lot of special care is available to help a newborn.