This one’s for all the folks out there who want to understand some of the calculations that are used to keep babies healthy and strong in the NICU. Truthfully, you don’t need to know how to do all of this when your baby is in the NICU – the doctors and nurses will manage these calculations for your baby – but many parents like to know how anyway.
So, if you want to give it a try, grab your calculator, and start crunching some numbers with me!
We NICU nurses talk a lot about fluid volumes in the NICU, like ML’s and CC’s, and a lot about weights, like grams, kilograms, pounds, and ounces.
Let’s look at what we’re talking about.
When we talk weight, you’ll usually hear about grams & kilograms or pounds & ounces.
When we talk fluid amounts (think milk or medicines), we generally use the terms Milliliters – or ML’s – and CC’s.
Here’s one simple basic every parent will learn early on the journey:
Did you know that 1 Mililiter (ML) = 1 CC = 1 gram? Yep, they’re essentially interchangeable (*see annotation). So when you hear one nurse say “Your baby is eating 25 ML’s” and then the next nurse says “Your baby took 15 CC’s from the bottle” now you know that ML’s and CC’s are equal amounts.
Another quick and easy one to know is that 1 kilogram is the same as 1000 grams. So a 2.3 kilo baby weighs 2300 grams. (2.3 X 1000)