Breast milk is the ideal food for babies. It offers protection that other foods and nourishment cannot provide. Although some babies may be born early and are too small to feed directly from the breast, breast milk is still very important. Premature babies are fed breast milk when they are ready even if it does not yet come directly from the breast.
These include a twin or multiple pregnancy , certain health conditions affecting the mum or foetus, or having had a premature baby previously. Because premature babies have had less time in the womb, they have some extra growing to do, and may be more vulnerable to illnesses and infections. They may also need to spend time in a neonatal intensive care unit NICU. Important factors, such as DHA a fatty acid vital for healthy brain and eye development and immunoglobulin G an antibody , are transported from mum to foetus via the placenta throughout pregnancy. Your breast milk contains enzymes that help your baby with digestion, 5 as well as epidermal growth factor, which in turn helps his intestine mature. Your breast milk includes protective agents that can help prevent serious conditions your preemie is susceptible to, 8 such as severe infections, 9 retinopathy of prematurity which can cause loss of vision 10 , and bronchopulmonary dysplasia a chronic lung disease. The more breast milk your baby has, the lower his risk of disease.
Although breastfeeding a premature baby is not always easy, following these tips and suggestions will help get your preemie breastfeeding experience off to a good start. If your baby was born early, then you may not be able to breastfeed right away. Moms can establish a plentiful milk supply using a breast pump if they pump early, often, and well:.
Early conditions in the breastfeeding of premature newborn infants. Correspondence address. The babies had an average of Data was collected from medical records, and the observation of the dyads was conducted during feeding, using the Observation and Evaluation of the Breastfeeding Protocol. Favorable and unfavorable behaviors were registered regarding position, responses, suction, affection and anatomy of the breast.