Good Beginnings 4: How Premature Babies Can “Catch Up”

When their baby was born at 22 weeks, weighing just 14 ounces, Lenice and James Coury, Jr. were grateful to the heroic efforts of Huntington Hospital’s neonatal specialists who saved their daughter’s life.

What they didn’t count on, after she was discharged four months after she was born, were the oxygen tanks, apnea monitors, special infant formulas, seven different medications, and the dozens of tests and assessments that little Samantha would have to endure over the next two years.

Today, at 2 ½, she is healthy and can count to 17, but weighs just 20 pounds and wears clothes for infants 6-9 months.

Cameras also captured tender moments in the Pasadena hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where tiny newborns, weighing as little as 1- 2-pounds, are receiving round-the-clock care in state of the art incubators, funded through a First 5 LA grant that provides continuous monitoring and assessments of premature children through age 4.

First 5 LA Tips for Healthy Births

1. Have an annual physical to detect potential health risks before conception and start taking folic acid (vitamin B)

2. After conception, see your doctor early and regularly

3. Take prenatal vitamins daily

4. Eat healthy meals, including breakfast

5. Don’t drink, smoke, or take drugs

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