Breast milk is the best food for a baby. It provides your infant with everything he/she will need, in the initial days, to grow properly. In fact, your breast milk is actually made keeping in mind the needs of your child. With all the hullabaloo surrounding breast milk these days, almost every mother-to-be knows the importance of breast milk. When you are carrying a child, breast-feeding is something that you do not tend to worry much about. It is believed to be something that comes very naturally to every mother. However, when you give birth to a pre-mature child, you suddenly start fretting about whether or not you would be able to feed the tiny little bundle, which looks so fragile that you are afraid even to take it in your arms. However, it is surely not as difficult as it seems. If you need any help in the regard, we are at your service. Read on to explore tips on how to breastfeed a pre-mature baby properly.
Breastfeeding Your Premature Baby
- As soon as your baby is born, you can start the pumping process. You baby can be fed your milk even when he/she is in the incubator. Pump for twenty to thirty minutes, on each side, and do it frequently. The milk you secrete can be fed to your pre-mature baby as well, to keep him/her strong.
- Breast milk is doubly important for your pre-mature baby, as he/she will be very susceptible to infections and it will provide antibodies, white blood cells and strong immunity to him/her, to resist infections. In addition, a regular supply of breast milk helps strengthen neurological growth. So, pump as often you can. You can even rent an electric pump, which will help you build your milk supply.
- When you bring your baby home, it becomes more important to take proper care of him/her. Instead of going for artificial nipple, try to get him/her interested by tickling his/her chin and bringing his/her lips to your nipples, after expressing a few drops of milk on the tip. He/she may need some extra encouragement.
- One of the ways to encourage your baby to feed is to place a breast-pad, soaked with milk, next to him/her. It will help familiarize him/her with the smell of milk and may make him/her long for breastfeeding.
- Choose a position for breastfeeding. Try several positions, until you find the one that is comfortable for you as well your child. A good position for a premature baby will involve tucking him/her under your arm and supporting his/her body with a pillow.
- While breastfeeding, don’t shift your child from one breast to another frequently, as a premature child is weak and will tire easily.
- If your child is very weak, breast-feeding may exhaust him faster. You can give support to your child by holding him/her skin to skin and holing your breast or supporting his/her latch by tucking a finger under his/her chin.
- Continue taking care of the baby, as premature babies need more care than the full-term ones. Feed him/her properly and take care of yourself too. Incorporate all those foods in your diet, which will help you build more milk.