Babies born early before their due date (premature babies) have a very high nutritional need which they didn’t get or do not have as a result of being born prematurely.
It would be best to support their health needs since they have continued to grow outside the womb. A mother’s breast milk is considered the most important, nutritious, and ideal food infants need.
But premature babies may not be able to be fed directly from the breast, so there are formulas for premature infants specially concocted to provide those nutritional contents they require for survival.
But there are some questions about how you should feed long premature babies these formulas before it is okay to start regular formulas or breast milk.
Premature babies are born immature and very small compared to normally born babies who had their entire nine months in the womb, have grown well, and have been able to store fat. The majority of Premature babies can not feed directly from the breast or have breast milk at first, and because most premature babies are often tiny, their bodies will require more than just the average nutrients present in breast milk.
When premature babies can start milk feedings, doctors recommend feeding them premature baby’s formulas with the same content as the same amount of calories in breast milk. After a while, formulas higher in calories assist your baby in ginning more weight and growing faster.
You can easily mix some formulas with high protein content with breast milk for higher and healthier calories.
Doctors may advise mixing breast milk with powdered human milk in some other situations, which fortifies for faster growth. This mixture contains more minerals, supplements, calories, proteins, and vitamins than breast milk or the usual baby formulas and will help a premature baby grow faster.
When To Stop Premature Formula
Feeding Premature Babies
The feeding method of premature babies depends on how early your baby was born and your baby’s health condition. In addition, feeding your premature baby will change rapidly as they grow older.
Breast milk is always the most beneficial and most important food for every newborn baby. Still, in some premature babies, it might not be possible to breastfeed your baby, or in most cases, your baby will need other essential mineral supplements added to breast milk.
All babies have to learn how to Suck, swallow, and breathe altogether, and very few premature babies may not be able to coordinate all these essential activities.
Most prematurely born babies are most likely not to be able to suck directly from the breast or even a bottle.
Some premature babies might have to be fed either breast milk or other formulas through a feeding tube that passes into their stomach from their nose or mouth.
They will feed smaller babies or sick babies through a narrow tube connected to the vein. Normally, your doctor or the pediatrician in charge of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) will explain the options and safe ways for feeding your baby.
And the method given will change as time goes on and your baby grows. You will also be given medical support and advice’s when your baby gets discharged.
Breastfeeding Premature Babies
Suppose a doctor is confirmed safe for your baby. In that case, breast milk is the best food choice for any newborn because breast milk contains essential nutritional substances that protect newborn babies from infections.
A hormone is secreted into breast milk that helps a mother and child bond well; feeding your baby breast milk will help reduce your baby’s risks of health issues such as obesity, slow learning issues, severe eczema, sudden infant death syndrome, or cot death.
Feeding your baby breast milk will reduce the risks of breast cancer, diabetes, and also ovarian cancer. Breastfeeding also helps decrease a serious gut problem like necrotizing enterocolitis for premature babies.
Premature Formula Feeding
Premature babies need a large amount of energy and tend to have higher nutritional needs than normally born babies. So, premature babies need some of the following nutrients plus breast milk;
- Special Premature formula milk
- Extra nutrients are given through a narrow tube passed into the vein
- Donor expressed milk
- Extra minerals, protein, and vitamins from breast milk fortifiers or individual supplements
Your baby will be given regular blood tests to check if the ratio of minerals being given to them is enough and keep them healthy when breast milk fortifiers are given. The blood is normally taken from the back of the hand or the heel of your baby’s feet.
The doctors at the NICU will give you advice on some of the best premature baby formulae that are perfect for your little infant, the amount to give at a time, and when it is okay to change your baby’s premature formula.
These factors will completely depend on how much your baby weighs at birth or whether or not your baby has any medical condition.
Premature baby formula is fully packed with extra essential nutrients to fill in for they lost and what they need.
Premature baby formulas are usually given through tubes first, then as your baby grows. it would be given by bottle (which has been sterilized properly since premature babies can easily contact infections because their immune system is even more underdeveloped).
Suppose they are now able to suck and swallow without difficulties. The amount or quantity of premature formula will increase or change as your baby grows.
Stopping Premature Baby Formula
Talk to your doctor for any concerns or have a genuine reason you want to stop giving your premature baby premature formula milk.
Most babies will be fine with lactose-free formulas; however, they might not have the same nutritional value as premature baby formula. In addition, some mothers might not like extracting breast milk into a bottle and adding human milk fortifiers to the milk and might want to switch to another premature baby formula or just breast milk.
But it will be much better and safer for your baby to consult with your doctor about changing your baby’s premature baby formula; you and your doctor or pediatrician can work out another feeding plan or premature formula that will suit your baby.
Suddenly stopping your baby’s premature formula is not a good idea; your doctor will inform you when it is ideal to stop your baby’s formula.
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I am a proud mother of two, a lover and home builder. My love for children gave birth to the bestofmotherearth.com with the aim to cover topics from child health, pregnancy, parenting, family, relationship, struggles in families and also food.