Babies born before the 37th week of gestation period are called Premature Babies. They are also often referred to as “Preemies” or “Preterm Babies”.
Their immediate care is a challenge both for doctors and parents. My baby was born in the 34th week, with a low birth weight of 1.8 kg.
Here are a few things that will help you take care of your premature baby and impact the baby positively :
- Positive Attitude: This is of utmost importance, especially for the mother and all the immediate care providers of the baby. During every feed, I would talk to my baby, telling tell how bravely he’s recovering and how these feeds will make him a strong boy. Believe me, talking helps a lot.
- Hygiene: Even after the baby is brought home, you must be cautious of maintaining cleanliness, especially in the baby’s room. Only two people must be the baby’s caretakers, including the mother. Don’t let anyone enter the room without cleaning their hands with a sanitizer. This care is critical for the first few months.
- Breastfeeding: It’s essential that a premie baby gets his mother’s breast milk. It will help him recover quickly. Even if you are unable to feed him directly make sure you express your milk at regular intervals. This will also maintain the production of milk in your body until the baby is ready to take his feed directly.
- Kangaroo Care: This is skin to skin touch where the baby is placed on mother’s bare chest, in a manner that there is tummy to tummy contact and baby’s ear is on mother’s heart. This helps regulate the baby’s body temperature and helps the mother with milk let down. Not only does it improve the bond between the baby and the mother, but it also accelerates the growth rate in babies.
- Give time to the baby: Spend as much time as possible with the baby. Give him massages daily, talk to him throughout the day, if you are not breastfeeding directly, make sure you give most of the feeds to the baby. Feed your baby every two hours and maintain this schedule at night as well.
There is no doubt that the first few months will be very challenging, but nothing is impossible. These few months give you extra time to bond with your baby. But amidst all this, don’t forget to take care of your postpartum body as well.
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