What are the nutritional needs of my premature baby?
What are my premature baby's nutritional needs?
Some premature babies who are very small or very sick are fed through an intravenous (or IV) line, known as " total parenteral nutrition " (TPN). Total parenteral nutrition contains a special mix of nutrients, such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals.
Doctors and nutritionists closely monitor the diet of premature babies and make changes when necessary to make sure babies get the nutrients they need to grow.
Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for all babies, especially premature babies.
The mother's colostrum is essential, as it contains millions of cells from the maternal immune system and antibodies that protect against infections, as well as friendly bacteria that help keep her delicate intestine healthy so that the baby, due to his condition, cannot take it directly from the breast. maternal, those drops of colostrum that the mother extracts can be given directly into the baby's mouth with a dropper or spread with a cotton applicator, this is known as colostrotherapy.
The breast milk of a mother who has had a premature baby has different and special characteristics, with a different balance of vitamins, minerals, proteins that help fight infections , and sugars that favor the connection of neurons in her brain.
Although most premature babies cannot feed directly from the breast because their sucking mechanism is not fully mature, mothers can express milk in the neonatal unit so that nursing staff can later give it to the hospitalized baby through a probe, a small tube that goes from the baby's nose or mouth to the stomach.
Once premature babies leave hospitalization, they need to go to a “Kangaroo Program” to make all their medical visits, including pediatric check-ups, neurodevelopment evaluations, retinology, breastfeeding support and, if necessary, apply the Kangaroo Mother Method to keep the baby carried 24 hours in skin-to-skin contact with his mother, father and a maximum of two other caregivers, also give him the vaccines that all babies need to stay healthy, and have regular vision and hearing checkups.
As your baby grows, his or her doctors will look at his or her growth and development, including speech, language, learning and motor skills, muscle tone, strength, and reflexes.
How can I face the process of caring for a premature baby?
Caring for a premature baby can be much more physically and emotionally demanding and complex than caring for a full-term baby.
So it is very important that you take care of yourself by eating well, resting when you can and doing physical exercise according to your state of health.
Spend time with your other children whenever you can, and get help from other people.
Accept support from your friends, relatives, and also community support groups.