One in eight American mothers delivers their baby prior to their 37th week of pregnancy. That’s more than half a million babies each year. This undoubtedly is a scary and nerve-racking experience for moms. We have compiled a list of helpful advice from mothers of preemies who have been in your shoes and were able to get through it!
Breastfeed/Express your milk
Preemies grow at a much faster rate than full-term newborns; therefore their nutritional needs are much more complex. Preemies are more susceptible to infections and breast milk offers a protection to infections that simply cannot be replicated by preterm formula. Your breast milk contains anti-bodies that strengthen your baby’s immune system. Baby’ s born before 24 to 25 weeks typically are unable to suck from a breast or bottle but most NICU’s are well equipped with hospital-grade strength breast pumps that will allow for you to pump your milk and then have it fed through a tube inserted into your baby’s nose or mouth. If you would like to be able to pump while you are away from the NICU, Aeroflow Breastpumps can help you obtain a rental hospital-grade pump through insurance.
Skin to Skin Contact
Kangaroo Care is encouraged once your baby is stable enough. It’s called Kangaroo Care because of the way you hold your baby directly on your chest and under your shirt. Skin to Skin contact has been proven to be very beneficial. It can help your baby maintain body warmth, gain weight, sleep deeply, and reduce stress. It’s also a great bonding experience for you and your baby! Some research shows that your scent alone can help keep your baby stable. Babies are able to recognize their mother’s scent just as they are able to recognize her voice. Ideally, it is best to boil wash whatever item you wish to include in the incubator. Once you have washed the item carry it around for a little while before placing it in the incubator (always check with your NICU nurse first, as some nurses may not allow this due to risk of infection).
Swaddle and Nest
Because your preemie is still supposed to be in the womb, they will find great comfort being swaddled and feeling secure. Many hospitals have nesting stations which contain toweling nests with cotton straps. The baby lies down in the nest and cotton straps are pulled across the baby so that they feel secure and snug. Nests also encourage good posture and muscle development.
24 Weeks Plus offers many more helpful tips and advice for parents of preemies.
If you would like to obtain an insurance approved breast pump to assist with feeding your preemie visit our website to qualify today. All it takes is a few minutes to fill out the form and Aeroflow Breastpumps takes care of the rest. You can also speak to one of our knowledgeable Breastpump Specialists by calling 844.867.9890.