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Precious Premature Babies Part 2
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Precious Premature Babies Part 2

Your precious premature baby is a blessing in many ways. He is special and a miracle too.

There are many things to expect and to realize when you see your tiny little treasure for the first time. Some may come as a shock, it could be overwhelming but the fact that he lives is something you should be thankful for and you can be overjoyed because there are ways to handle it all and to encourage your little treasure to grow into a strong and healthy little one.

There is great success in skin to skin contact. If it is allowed, give your baby skin to skin care. Any baby, especially preterm babies thrive on a mother’s touch. Just holding your baby against your bare chest has definite benefits. The care staff can show and teach you how to hold your baby, and how to take special care of him. You can give your baby some positive touch, even if you are not able to hold him at this stage, you can hold his hand and touch him with your fingers. Touch is one of the most essential components of a premature baby. Try to touch him as much as you can, it is of great importance and benefit to you and your tiny baby.

Everyone is concerned about baby, and taking the best care possible of your little treasure, but what about you? Is it normal for you to experience a roller-coaster of emotions? You experience anger, depression, guilt, anxiety and helplessness. This is all normal; you as a mom of a preterm baby experience a lot of trauma. Your baby is tiny, so much different from the other full term babies. Just know it is normal for you to have all these mixed feeling.

Because your little treasure is isolated from you by an incubator, monitors and all the medical equipment and you cannot take your baby home after birth it is a very difficult period. There are situations that can cause you even more trauma, things like seeing other mothers with their healthy full term babies, mothers who breastfeed and insensitive comments people give you. People say stuff that can be really insensitive and hurtful, and blame your may receive from partners or grandparents. It is not your fault that your baby is born the way it is. In cases like these it is important to you to have support. Speak to someone about your feelings, what you are going through. Join a support groups. Just remember that our little premature baby needs you most, this is the most important time for you and your baby, therefore to give him the best chance possible, you need to look after yourself too.

The more you hold and touch your baby, the more confidence you will grow to take care of him once you are home with him. This is also the most perfect bonding time for the two of you, and makes you feel competent and you will feel that you are really helping your baby feel better and grow strong. When you hold and touch him the natural mothering instincts will naturally kick in, it will all just come naturally to you. It is a great advantage to you and your little treasure to do this as much as possible.

There are some feeding issues you may face with your preterm baby. All the aspects of feeding, like suck, swallow and breathe while feeding only mature when your premature baby almost reaches full term. For your baby to feed easily, he needs to breathe rhythmically and to coordinate his breathing with sucking and swallowing. With all this your baby needs to learn, it may take longer for him to reach feeding maturity and it may take longer to finish a feed.

Some believe that bottle feeding is easier with a preterm baby. What is true in this believe is exactly the opposite. You as a mother of a preterm baby should aim to breastfeeding; it uses a lot less energy than bottle feeding. Breastfeeding is the best option and most suitable for your preterm baby. Your baby may not get a lot of milk, if any.

Most moms’ need to express milk and to store it correctly. Store it hygienically and in small quantities. This helps prevent wastage as you can use this milk for your baby later on. While your baby is still in ICU it may be best for you to use an electric double breast pump. Start to express within four hours after your baby’s birth. Skin to skin feeding and care helps you both with the whole feeding process and also helps to stimulate milk production. It also teaches your little treasure to feed and some self soothing skills. You can improve feeding by giving your baby a dummy to suck on while receiving feeds through tubes and also when he needs consoling when you are not there to give it to him.

There is another benefit of giving your baby a dummy to suck on, it improves digestion, self regulation and breathing regulation. It is important to offer your baby a dummy even when in a quiet and alert state, not only when he is drowsy. You must have him suck on his dummy for about ten minutes each day, preferably before feeds; this helps him to get to a more awake state for feeding. By doing this your feedings will become easier and he will benefit more with every feed.

Be sure to read the last installment of precious premature babies, going home with your precious premature baby. Many moms’ of premature babies feel completely alone during these trying times, it is good to know as much as possible for you to be prepared and to give your baby the best chance of survival and to be a healthy strong happy child.

Every day holds the promise of a miracle.


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