Neonatal Care In India: A Better Start For Better Future

“Your future depends on your present” sounds cliched, right? But it can’t be truer than in the scenario of neonatal care in India. Nothing is more crucial than a healthy start to life. The first few days of your baby’s life has a bearing on their entire life. Hence it is very important to nurture them with care and nurturing even if the little bundles of joy decide to arrive a little ahead of time.

To protect your baby better, you need to equip yourself with knowledge. It is important to know what exactly neonatal care is, medical practices used to provide neonatal care in India, how and why techniques like incubators help your premature baby. Most importantly how do you raise funds for such expensive but crucial medical treatment of neonatal care in India.

Neonatal Care In India

What is neonatal care?

Neonatal care is the system of nursing and medical treatments given to newborn babies, mostly in the cases of premature births.

Let’s understand what is premature birth, what causes premature births and how to avoid it?

Premature birth, also known as preterm birth is a when baby is born before 37 weeks of pregnancy are completed. Normally pregnancy term lasts about 40 weeks.

There are three sub-categories of preterm birth.

Extremely preterm: When baby is born before completion of 28 weeks i.e. in 7th month of pregnancy it is known as extremely preterm.

Very preterm: The birth is known as very preterm birth when baby is born anytime between 28th week of pregnancy to 32nd week, in between 7th to 8th month of pregnancy.

Moderate to late preterm: When baby is born between 32nd to 37th week of pregnancy (After completion of eight months but before completion of nine full months of pregnancy) it is known as moderate to late preterm birth.

Premature birth is unsafe as it gives the baby less time to develop in the womb which is very extremely important for baby’s well being. There are numbers of complications that can occur due to premature birth which can be cured by provision of appropriate neonatal care in India.

  • Breathing problems
  • Heart problems
  • Brain problems
  • Temperature control problems
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Blood circulation problems
  • Metabolism problems
  • Immune system problems
  • Neonatal infections

Causes of premature birth:

Although it is difficult to recognise the exact cause of preterm birth, there are few factors which have been observed consistently in all the cases of premature birth.

  1. Degraded health of mother: Child marriage is still prevalent in some parts of India. The underdeveloped body of young girl is unable to take the toll of a pregnancy, and this is one major cause of premature births in India. The well being of expecting young women is neglected many times causing severe anaemia and other problems which lead to preterm births.

  1. Multiple pregnancies: If the mother has gone through multiple pregnancies and frequently given birth, her body gets little time to recover from the extensive pain and exhaustion of labour. It causes various complications in further pregnancies and also affects mother’s health to a great extent.

  1. Infections and chronic conditions: Viral or other forms of infections during pregnancy or presence of chronic disease like diabetes or high blood pressure can cause premature birth.

  1. Genetic influences: There can be some genetic condition in the mother like thyroid problems which sometimes lead to preterm birth.

  1. Other socio-economic causes: Sometimes due to economic constraints or social factors women lack access to nutritionally rich diets, enough rest and crucial medicines and drugs. This leads to degraded health of pregnant women, which has untoward effects on the child’s health.

Timely diagnosis in pregnancy protects your baby from need of complicated treatment of neonatal care in India:

Frequent visits to doctor and diagnostic test data can help to a great extent in avoiding premature birth. Various techniques like blood tests, obstetric ultrasound, fetal fibronectin tests are some diagnostic methods that help detect and address complications during pregnancy.

Current status of neonatal care in India:

India has made exceptional progress in bettering many health indicators. It’s success in complete eradication of polio has proved India’s ability to overcome difficult medical challenges. In spite of this, India still tops the world list of highest preterm births. According to WHO, India accounts for 35,19,100 premature births per year. Out of these 35 lakh babies, hardly few receive proper and timely neonatal care in India, mainly due to high costs. Neonatal care in India is very costly and cause additional pain to parents who are already undergoing tremendous trauma of having to watch their tiny little baby suffer hard.

Neonatal intensive care unit for procedure of neonatal care in India:

A neonatal intensive care unit is an intensive care unit specializing in the care of ill or premature newborn babies.

System of levels of care designed for neonatal care in India:

Neonatal care in India is split into categories or “levels of care.” These levels apply to the type of care needed.

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has constructed the system of  3-tiers for neonatal care in India, based on weight and gestational age of a baby.

Level I for neonatal care in India:
Neonates weighing more than 1800 grams or having gestational maturity (period spent in mother’s womb) of 34 weeks or more are categorized under level I care. At this level basic care of normal newborn, artificial warmth similar to natural warmth of womb, maintaining atmosphere free of bacterial or viral infection and promotion of breastfeeding is carried out. This level of care can be given at home or at primary health care centre.

Level II for neonatal care in India:
Neonates weighing 1200-1800 grams or having gestational maturity of 30–34 weeks are categorized under level II care and are looked after by trained nurses and pediatricians.
The equipment and facilities used for this level for neonatal care in India, include equipment for resuscitation, maintenance of thermoneutral environment, intravenous infusion, gavage feeding, phototherapy and exchange blood transfusion. This type of care can not be given at home and require the baby to be admitted to a healthcare facility.

Level III for neonatal care in India:
Neonates weighing less than 1200 grams or having gestational maturity of less than 30 weeks are categorized under level III care. This level is considered as most critical level for neonatal care in India. The treatment can only be provided at apex institutions equipped with many high grade medical technology. It consists of oxygen and suction facilities to support baby’s underdeveloped lungs to carry out function of breathing, servo-controlled incubators, vital signs monitors, transcutaneous monitors, ventilators, infusion pumps etc.

Best hospitals for neonatal care in India:

Best hospitals in Delhi for neonatal care in India:

Max Health Care – Max Institute of Pediatrics

All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)

Best hospitals in Mumbai for neonatal care in India:

The Children’s Hospital, Malad

Surya Child Care, Santacruz

Best hospitals in Chennai for neonatal care in India:

Apollo Children’s Hospital

Dr. Mehta’s Children Hospital

Best hospitals in Kolkata for neonatal care in India:

Bhagirathi Neotia Woman and Child Care Centre

Columbia Asia Hospital

Best hospitals in Hyderabad for neonatal care in India:

Rainbow Hospital for Women & Children

Lotus Children’s Hospital

Best hospitals in Bangalore for neonatal care in India:

Cloudnine Kids Hospital

Neonatal Care and Research Centre

Costs of neonatal care in India includes:

Neonatal care in India is quite costly treatment. It consists of costs like,

  1. Neonatal Intensive Care Unit costs – The average cost of NICU per day is 4000 Rs.
  2. Oxygenation and ventilator costs – As lungs of premature babies are underdeveloped, babies need support for breathing. Ventilator costs per day are as high as Rs. 7000 to 10000.
  3. Medical professional fees include doctors fees and fees of nursing staff.
  4. Temperature maintenance units cost – Advanced techniques of neonatal care in India use incubators to maintain certain temperature to provide warmth to babies and avoid exposure to germs. Cost of neonatal care in India includes charges of these incubators as well.
  5. Other peripheral costs like hospital admission charges and drugs etc

Ways to raise funds for neonatal care in India:

Due to high costs of neonatal care in India, many parents either withdraw treatment or try to continue with sub standard treatments. It puts the baby’s life in peril. To avoid this you might want to get familiar with some alternative options to raise funds for neonatal care in India.

Direct donations from your family and friends for neonatal care in India

Your family and friends are your primary and most effective network. Since they know you personally, they will step forward to help you raise money for your baby’s neonatal care in India. These are the people who care for you most, and want to see your baby get better, so don’t hesitate to contact them for help.

NGOs, private trusts, and government schemes for neonatal care in India

There are many associations that have been setup to provide financial assistance to parents who cannot afford expensive medical treatments for neonatal care in India. In addition, there are also several government schemes, like the “Newborn Action Plan” that offers free services in neonatal care in India at select government hospitals.

Medical loans and insurances for neonatal care in India

As long as there are no previous loans or arrears, with the right documentation and verification process, funds for neonatal care in the form of a loan can be raised from the banks. One of the drawbacks of loans is that the individual or family is burdened with repaying the debt with high interest rates.

As for medical insurances, a majority of the population doesn’t even have insurance. Moreover, premature birth is a sudden and unforeseen event. Thus medical insurance is unlikely to help to raise funds for neonatal care in India.

Online crowdfunding in India to raise funds for neonatal care in India

Crowdfunding in India enables you to use the power of technology to raise funds for your treatment costs. All you have to do is create a compelling fundraiser story, accompanied by audio-visuals, that can be directly aimed at potentials donors- your family, friends and others involved with philanthropy. Once your fundraiser is put out to the people by social media sharing, anyone who connects with your cause will donate and help you raise funds for neonatal care in India.

Know how crowdfunding works to get an exact idea about crowdfunding in India.

Here are four reasons why crowdfunding in India is the best way to raise money to give your baby best neonatal care in India:

  1. Crowdfunding in India is an easy process. You can start a fundraiser within 5 minutes on Impact Guru.
  2. You can raise funds from all over the world by starting a fundraiser on crowdfunding platforms in India like Impact Guru. You get US and UK tax benefits!
  3. It lets you to put your wide social network of friends, family and coworkers to a goods use.
  4. Crowdfunding in India operates online, top to bottom. You save time, because the internet’s massive speed is stacked in your favour.

How to start a fundraising campaign to finance neonatal care in India:

You can follow these steps to successfully raise funds for neonatal care in India:

  1. Start a fundraiser for free within five minutes on crowdfunding platforms. These websites work to champion crowdfunding in India.
  2. Write a fundraiser story, tell people why you have opted for crowdfunding in India.
  3. Give details of your baby’s medical condition. Include statements of estimated cost from hospitals of neonatal care in India.
  4. Share the link of fundraiser frequently on social media platforms and tell your friends and family to do the same.

List of crowdfunding platforms in India where you can raise funds for neonatal care in India: 
Impact Guru
Out of these, Impact Guru has raised Rs. 329 crores till date and is the most efficient platform for medical crowdfunding in India. Ketto has managed to raise Rs.100 crores through crowdfunding in India.

Success story of crowdfunding in India on Impact Guru:

Hardly two months old Srijay was admitted to hospital eight times, out of which six times he was in ICU. His parents were disheartened to see such a small baby go through such severe treatments. The cost of neonatal care in India added to their woes as it would cost around 25 lakhs to provide him the required treatment.

The family chose to try crowdfunding in India via the Impact guru platform. In weeks, his father had raised Rs. 16,61,663  for Srijay’s treatment by crowdfunding on Impact Guru.

If you too are moping in this unfortunate situation and want to find a reliable way out of it, start a fundraiser on crowdfunding platform in India like Impact Guru for you baby to get his best neonatal care in India.

Here’s your own fundraising guide for your first ever experience of crowdfunding in India. Get started now.