What observations do you do?
We do what are known as baseline observations such as temperature, heart beat, breathing rates and blood pressure. These are recorded so that we can assess whether there is any deviation from the normal values. We listen for any noises that the baby makes whilst breathing. Obviously babies can cry!! But sometimes they can make a "grunting" type noise which can indicate that the baby has some distress with their breathing. Quite often just by allowing the baby to rest this problem will resolve.
Babie's breathing problems seem to respond better by being nursed on their tummy(prone). Do not be alarmed if you see this, because as soon as their condition allows they will be nursed on their back and they are only nursed on their tummy whilst being monitored.
Occasionally, some babies will need help from extra oxygen into the incubator. More technical support from a nasal continuous positive airway pressure machine (NCPAP) may sometimes be used. This allows oxygen/air under pressure into the nose assisting their breathing by holding the air sacs open, helping baby not to get tpo tired.
A breathing machine (ventilator) may be used. This involves a tube being passed into the lungs via the mouth (endotracheal tube) and then connected to the breathing machine that allows oxygen and air in measured amounts, the number of breathes at a measured time and pressure, to breath for your baby. The ventilator can allow baby to breath with assistance from the machine or to do all the work of breathing for his/her dependant on baby's condition.