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What precautions and care does a premature baby require?

Q: My daughter is 1.25 kg born 5-6 weeks before the normal time and is being kept in the incubator. How long will she be there and what precautions regarding bathing, massage and others should be taken once we take her home? Do premature babies have some IQ problem later or are they more prone to falling sick?

A:You have not mentioned about how prematurely the baby was born. Duration of stay usually depends on degree of prematurity. Most often they would be in the nursery till they have attained a maturity of 34 - 35 weeks and are taking direct feeds, gaining weight and maintaining normal temperature outside the incubator. I think the baby may need to be in the nursery for another couple of weeks. Some premature infants are at higher risk of infections later on and slow development. However, many of them grow normally. You just have to monitor her physical and neurodevelopmental growth over a period of time.

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