Support after you go Home
This is the time you have been waiting for. By the time you go home with your baby you will know a lot more about Spina Bifida and how it effects your baby.
Every baby has basic needs: sleeping, feeding, nurturing and regular checkups. You will spend much of your time cuddling your baby, changing nappies, feeding and enjoying this new addition to your family. And in addition to all this attention, your baby has special needs.
After you and your baby are discharged from hospital you may be visited on a regular basis by Neonatal Homecare Nurses. They will monitor your baby’s weight and head circumference.
There will be regular appointments to see a variety of doctors: paediatrician, neurologist, urologist, orthopaedic surgeon and sometimes other specialists. You will also be seen by the Paediatric Surgical team and Paediatrician at regular Spina Bifida clinics.
What do all these Doctors do?
A Physician who specialises in the physiological functions of the brain and nervous system.
A physician who specialises in the treatment and surgery of the brain and spinal cord.
A physician who specialises in the treatment and surgery of bones, joints and muscles.
A physician who specialises in problems and surgery of the urinary tract.
A physician who specialises in the care of infants and children.
A physician who is concerned with the psychodevelopment of the child.
Other People You May Meet
A therapist who provides treatment and instruction to build strength and range of motion that increases mobility.
A therapist who specialises in child development trained to assess children’s skill levels, especially in the areas of fine motor skill and hand-eye coordination.
An individual who is trained to offer support and to assist in accessing support services within the community.
Like all babies your baby will develop in many areas, such as:
- Looking at your face and watching you move
- Learning to hold up the head
- Reaching out for toys
- Sitting up
Because your baby has Spina Bifida, he or she is likely to have some problems with development. Development is an ongoing process and at every stage your baby will be learning new skills which lay the groundwork for the next stage.
Neuro Developmental Therapists will visit you at home to help you to involve your baby in everyday activities to encourage continued development. They can advise and support you on practical problems that you may face at home in caring for your baby.
Special Education Service
The Ministry of Education has a range of early intervention specialists who work with young children who have special education needs from birth through to the time they start school. They provide services to children at home, in an early childhood setting and as they start school. Your visiting Neuro Developmental Therapist will refer your baby to this service.