Baby Health

Things You Need To Know About Nursing A Premature Baby


Pregnancy is a mystery in that you never know when you’ll give birth, how or what you’ll give birth to, if it happens that your baby arrives early will nursing your premature baby be different? Yes and here are the things you need to know;

A premature baby needs breast milk as breast milk has everything a premature baby needs to be nourished especially since premature babies are more prone to infection due to their immature immune system.

Your breast is totally up to the task though, milks produced by moms of preemies are very rich in proteins and has slightly different fats than later breast milk.

Meanwhile your baby won’t be able to unite with your baby immediately as your baby will be placed inside the incubator that means you can’t breastfeed your baby directly but you can pump. After pumping the breast milk an hospital staff will feed the expressed breast milk to your baby through a nasogastric (NG) tube (known as gavage). This ensures your baby take enough breast milk as preemies are usually too small to suck directly from the breast.


At the hospital, the doctors might want to supplement with formula to increase your baby’s calorie intake, if you don’t have a problem with breast milk supply remind your doctor that breast milk is the best for your child and since you don’t have a problem with your flow there’s no need for supplementing feeds. You might want to be expressing and freezing to keep up your breast milk flow (pump every 2-3 hours) and ensuring there’s always milk for your baby.

 

 

When your baby finally starts nursing directly from your breast be prepared for a test. Sucking out milk from your breast won’t be easy since your baby is already used to getting milk from the bottle which is easier. You can try different breastfeeding positions or buy a nursing supplementer (attach the tiny tube to your breast) so your baby can get milk from it and your breast as well until they finally adjust to sucking from just your breast.

If you’re having trouble breastfeeding your premature baby, ask for help from the nurses and doctors in your hospital. Breast milk is the best for preemie babies but your family and friends may not understand and therefore suggest that you switch to formula to save yourself the trouble. If you have to pump round the clock, do it, it’s the best you can do for your preemie baby.

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Signs Your Baby Might Have Hearing Problem


During my service year, I was among the NYSC NCCF(Nigeria Christian Corpers Fellowship) and we did regular community service whereby we went round to rural areas and donate few items to the less privileged. It was during one of these our community service that I met a small girl who was a little over a year old and after conversing with her mother I found out that the girl was deaf.

I was drawn to her because she was a twin and her twin(a girl also) was very jovial and everywhere but she was so quiet,I noticed she did not talk much she just stuck to her mother’s side throughout.

Her mother said that she noticed her daughter had not started talking properly, would not respond when being called unlike her twin. She initially said she thought she was just quiet and did not take her to the hospital until she was about 9 months.


This struck a chord with me because I wondered what could have been if it had been noticed earlier on and how they would have been able to tell that their baby was deaf early.

Many children are born deaf because of a genetic reason. Deafness can be passed down in families even though there appears to be no family history of deafness. Deafness can also be caused by complications during pregnancy.

Illnesses such as rubella, viral infection, parasitic infections and herpes can cause a child to be born deaf. There is also a range of medicines, known as ototoxic drugs, which can damage the hearing system of a baby before birth.

Children may become deaf after they are born. Being born prematurely can increase the risk of being deaf or becoming deaf. They may also be born with severe jaundice or experience a lack of oxygen at some point. Both of these can cause deafness.

In early childhood there is a range of things that can be responsible for a child becoming deaf. Infections like meningitis, measles and mumps can cause deafness.

Your baby’s ability to hear is in large part the foundation of his ability to learn. A hearing screening is the most important early way to tell if a baby’s hearing is impaired, but parents also need to be alert for warning signs.

Signs of hearing loss can be different for different babies, and the extent of hearing impairment can vary. There are various signs to look out for depending on how old your baby is:

Birth to 3 Months

  • Becomes quiet when around everyday voices or sounds
  • Reacts to loud sounds: baby startles, blinks, stops sucking, cries, or wakes up
  • Makes soft sounds when awake: baby gurgles

3 to 6 Months

  • Turns eyes or head toward sounds: voices, toys that make noise, a barking dog
  • Starts to make speech-like sounds: “ga,” “ooh,” “ba,” and p, b, m sounds
  • Reacts to a change in your tone of voice

6 to 9 Months

  • Responds to soft sounds, especially talking
  • Responds to own name and looks when called
  • Understands simple words: “no,” “bye-bye,” “juice”
  • Babbles: “da da da,” “ma ma ma,” “ba ba ba”

9 to 12 Months

  • Consistently responds to both soft and loud sounds
  • Repeats single words and copies animal sounds
  • Points to favorite toys or foods when asked

Hearing is very important for the development of a child because it holds them back when compared to their age mates. It is important that hearing problems are detected early so the child can get help early. If you notice any of these signs in your child it is important that you report to a doctor immediately so as to give the baby the best quality life possible.

 

 

 

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