WellSpan Home

Chronic Lung Disease in Infants: Caring for Your Baby

Topic Overview

Home treatment is often needed for a baby who has been diagnosed with chronic lung disease. Before you take your newborn home from the hospital, you need to be able to:

  • Recognize the symptoms and know what to do if your baby has difficulty breathing or stops breathing.
  • Perform CPR in the unlikely event that your baby will need it.
  • Recognize the early signs of upper respiratory infection, such as irritability, mild fever, nasal stuffiness, cough, difficulty breathing, or wheezing. If these signs develop, call your doctor.
  • Safely and adequately feed your baby. A baby's nutritional needs are very important after he or she goes home. Newborns who have chronic lung disease need to have extra calories and protein in their diet. This helps their lungs heal and grow as normally as possible. Most newborns can be fed with breast milk or formula when they go home.
  • Give the baby's prescribed medicines and monitor the effects.
  • Call the doctor or seek emergency help if needed.

It will also be important for you to keep track of:

  • Your baby's weight as often as the doctor requests. Watching for changes in a baby's weight is one way to tell whether his or her nutritional needs are being met.
  • How much your baby drinks and feeds. Most babies get more nutrients if they are fed frequently and receive small amounts of fluid at a time. Allow your baby to rest during feeding if needed.

After you are at home, try to establish a regular, predictable routine of caring for your baby. Some suggestions to avoid problems linked with chronic lung disease include the following:

  • Ask your doctor about how to schedule your baby's medicines.
  • Try to do caregiving tasks (such as feeding and bathing) back-to-back or at the same time, between naps, to allow the baby to rest for longer periods of time.
  • If the baby is having trouble breathing, wait to do the care until he or she is breathing more easily.
  • Avoid exposing your baby to cold air, which can reduce the size of the lung airways and make it harder for him or her to breathe.
  • Avoid having your baby around people who have upper respiratory infections such as a cold or the flu.
  • Avoid exposing your baby to smoke from cigarettes or woodstoves, which irritates the lungs.
  • Keep all appointments for follow-up visits with your baby's doctor. At these visits, the doctor can detect problems with growth or development.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - Pediatrics

Current as ofMay 4, 2017


Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.

×

Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.

×