Promotes conservation of energy for growth and development
At birth, newborns are exposed to immediate cold stress and heat loss. Premature infants may also have limited heat production capabilities, along with an increased need to conserve limited energy reserves.19
Infants need energy for growth and development; therefore, assisting in thermoregulation is important. There is a range of interventions such as ensuring a neutral thermal environment, drying towels and blankets, a radiant warmer, or skin-to-skin contact.
Humidifying delivered therapies is also important to promote conservation of energy. When inadequate levels of humidity are inhaled, water vapor is drawn from the airway mucosa until the inspired gas has reached 37 °C, 44 mg/L. The energy cost to the infant for each gram of water removed from the mucosa is 0.58 kCal (2.4 kJ).20