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Feeding Your Pre Term Baby

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Premature or preterm babies are born before 37 weeks of gestation. Premature babies can weigh anywhere between 500 to 2500g.

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

Importance of Breast feeding a pre-term

Preterm babies need more nutrition as they grow faster compared to full term babies. Breast milk contains proteins that fight against infections and promotes growth and development. Breast milk will provide hormones and growth factors that will help your premature baby grow well and strong.

Challenges in feeding a pre term baby:

Feeding a pre-term baby can be a challenge till they reach 32-34 weeks of gestational age as they may not be able to feed directly from breast.

Quantity of breast milk to be consumed by a pre-term baby is critical as they have a high calorie requirement and a small stomach capacity.

Preterm babies are easily susceptible to intestinal infection.

Skin to skin contact with your baby will help in improving your milk production. Therefore, snuggle as much as possible with your baby.

Tips in feeding a pre term baby:

Breast milk pumped by the mother can be fed to the premature baby via a tube that goes from the baby’s nose or mouth into the stomach.

If your premature baby is in the neonatal care, you should express 8–10 times during a day and at least once at night to maintain your milk supply.

Preterm babies may be given additional calcium and phosphorus to promote growth. Vitamins and other minerals may also be added to the breast milk.
Consult your doctor before giving them to your baby.

Premature infants have to be fed slowly to avoid the risk of developing a particular intestinal infection

Caring for your preterm is a challenge. With proper feeding you can ensure optimal growth and health for your baby.

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