November is the month that we all take time to remember what we’re thankful for. It’s also Prematurity Awareness Month. While one in ten babies are premature babies in the United States, one thing we are grateful for is that preterm birth rates have been on the decline, for the most part, since 2007. We are also grateful for the positive role that we at PTN get to play in the lives of preemies and their parents.
What You Need to Know from a Pediatric Therapist’s Point of View
Having your baby before he or she is full term (37 weeks) can be an extremely frightening experience. Fortunately, as medicine continues to improve, preemies face better and better odds of going on to live normal, healthy lives.
For most preemies, the road to a healthy future starts in the NICU. Depending upon the level of prematurity and early intervention procedures that are needed, a NICU stay can range from a few days to a few months. That time can be very hard on parents who just want to hold their babies and care for them at home. It can also cause a lot of relationship strain as parents have to trade off staying at the hospital and attending to the other demands of life, like work and other children.
Even though it is tough, try to remember that the time in the NICU is vital for your preemie’s healthy development. It’s also when physical therapy usually begins. Therapeutic interventions that begin in the NICU include positioning modifications, improving tolerance to handling, and strengthening activities.
A physical therapist can also teach parents how to safely hold their preemie babies, how to carry them, dress them, and how to set them down to sleep in positions that will encourage healthy growth. These sorts of preemie-specific parenting lessons can make the transition from NICU to home much less stressful for the whole family.
When that transition does come, it is important to continue physical therapy without interruption to provide the baby with continuity of care and keep building on the baby’s physical, mental, and emotional development.
Our Team of Chicago Pediatric Therapists is Here for You
If you have questions about preemies and early intervention, or if you need a physical therapist for your own preemie, do not hesitate to contact Pediatric Therapy Network (PTN). At PTN, we have years of experience helping children from preemies to childhood hit key developmental milestones and gain confidence in their abilities. We are grateful for every child we get to work with and every parent who welcomes us into their home for personalized care.
Words of Gratitude for Our Clients
PTN would like to express our sincere gratitude for our patients and their families. We’re honored that you have chosen to work with us and that you have placed so much trust in our abilities and experience. We genuinely love the work we do and are thrilled to be a part of both your and your child’s life. Thank you and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!