BreastfeedingBreastfeeding a premature baby

Breastfeeding a premature baby

Having a premature baby brings many doubts and uncertainties. One of them is related to breastfeeding: is it possible to breastfeed a premature baby without problems?

When a woman becomes pregnant, she wants her pregnancy to run as smoothly as possible and to reach term so that her child has a better chance of surviving and being born healthy, however, sometimes there are many mothers who must give birth before the estimated time and Very small babies are born who are considered premature because they are not yet fully developed.

These babies are specially cared for and cared for by the medical staff until their physical, neurological and physiological conditions are adequate for their parents to take them home with the guarantee that they will remain healthy as much as possible.

When the baby is admitted to neonatology and placed in the incubator, the external environment that surrounds him is not the most suitable, although it is the most conducive to his later development, the mother does not have as much access to her baby as she would like, although today she is applying the Kangaroo Mother Method that allows moms to be with their little one for a couple of hours a day.

Thanks to the operation of the Mother Kangaroo Program in many hospitals, the mother has free access to her newborn, not only to care for him, pamper him and be with him to continue his recovery but also to feed him breast milk.

Can you breastfeed a premature baby? It’s more complicated?

When a premature baby is born, the composition of breast milk is specially adapted to the baby’s needs. This milk contains more calcium, sodium, protein, and many more nutrients than normal breast milk.

Formerly it was impossible to breastfeed the newborn when he was hospitalized and that milk that was generated especially for the little one was of no use since mothers could not access them.

Today conditions are easier and mothers can take their babies and feed them with their milk. Moreover, they should express their milk as soon as they are born to take advantage of it from the moment they feel capable of starting to breastfeed the baby.

As the days go by, breast milk will increase and you may have to freeze it since premature babies need a small amount of food and you can take advantage of it for other occasions.  In this case, it can be very useful to know how to preserve breast milk, taking into account the following recommendations:

  • Freshly squeezed in a closed container: at room temperature it can be kept for a maximum of 8 hours. In the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days, and in the freezer for 2 weeks.
  • Frozen or thawed in the refrigerator (not used or heated): at room temperature until finished feeding, in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  • Thawed out of the refrigerator in hot water: at room temperature until the feeding is finished, in the refrigerator until the next feeding or 4 hours maximum.

The short answer to the question: can you breastfeed a premature baby?; It is a resounding yes, although sometimes the conditions do not allow it, mothers must fight for the rights of their children and their own, based on the best information and the support of other mothers, the hospital where your baby is should offer you the possibility to feed it.

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