Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

CPAP: Continuous Positive Airway Pressure



It was extremely difficult for me to see my baby on CPAP because it looked so uncomfortable and my heart ached that I could not help my baby.  This breathing treatment involved a mask of tubing that covered most of my baby’s face and she had to wear a hat so that the tubing could be pinned in place.  The hat was held on by a strap that went over her head and under her chin.  Her face was all squished and she looked completely miserable.  Because she also had a g tube taped down by her mouth I could pretty much only see her eyes, and that only if her hat wasn’t falling down over her eyes like it often was.

CPAP pressure keeps your baby’s airway open to prevent apnea and increase ventilation.  It’s certainly not the most intense breathing treatment as far as the work that it does to help your baby breath, but it is the most difficult to see. Oscillators and then ventilators do the most work for your baby and after CPAP your baby moves to a nasal cannula – certainly the least obstructive and invasive breathing treatment, and the last one used until your baby no longer needs oxygen.

My baby spent two weeks on oscillators and ventilators before moving to CPAP, which she was off and on for two weeks.  You’ll find that there are very few milestones in the NICU that your baby will jump to and never look back. Particularly with oxygen, machines and oxygen levels will change almost daily until your baby is completely weaned off of oxygen.

Anyone with more information on CPAP or with an experience you would like to share, please do so in the comments below.  Thanks!

Afton Mower About Afton Mower

After Mower (UT) lost her firstborn son at 21 weeks.  Her daughter was born a year and a half later at 27 weeks.  The NICU was overwhelming and isolating and it was through those two experiences she was led to found this social hub for parents to find the support they needed. Afton also gave birth to another daughter, born two days overdue after four months of strict bedrest. She believes it is a tender experience to hold a special baby in your arms when his spirit returns to his heavenly home, a miracle to watch tiny babies survive the risks of prematurity and a blessing to hold a healthy full-term baby after months of difficulty and sacrifices.

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