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It is difficult during pregnancy to prepare for the hypothetical event that having a premature baby, especially in those cases in which nothing foreshadows that event.
Unfortunately, it is a possibility that exists and that we must take into account the changes that prematurity can bring, both in the development of the baby and in the choices that, as parents, we have to make in terms of their care and feeding. We tell you how feeding a premature baby in his first year of life.
The best way to feed a premature baby It is by offering the mother's breast milk, either by direct breastfeeding or by expressing it, and preferably offering it with methods that do not include the bottle, such as the finger-syringe.
Those women who have a premature labor they produce what is known as "preterm milk." This milk is adapted to the special needs of this newborn, maintaining for several weeks, depending on the prematurity of the baby, a higher concentration of proteins and minerals, such as sodium, chlorine, magnesium and iron, even more than the colostrum of the mother who gives birth to term.
The quality of the protein in this milk is 100%, so the newborn he is able to take full advantage of it without stressing his renal system or making great efforts.
However, some minerals such as calcium and phosphorus, as well as vitamin D and sometimes magnesium, need to be supplemented in large quantities. very underweight premature babies, to ensure good bone mass and approach the levels of these minerals to which they would be exposed in the maternal uterus.
It also has a higher energy content, thanks to its fat content. Fat is easily digested and absorbed as it is accompanied by lipase, something that does not contain either formula milk or donor milk, since it is destroyed in the treatment it receives before being used. Its composition is ideal for premature babies, helping them to gain weight more quickly, favoring their development and growth.
When the premature baby be prepared to start complementary feeding, probably beyond 6 months of age and until at least 12 months, we must make sure that milk remains your main source of food.
The baby may not even be ready to eat other foods until he reaches 6 months of corrected age and we must be patient, since milk covers all his needs for both macronutrients and micronutrients, and we should only offer vitamin / mineral supplements if the baby is pediatrician suggests it.
It should be added that no more than one new food should be introduced every 3-4 days to control possible allergies and / or intolerances.
In the case of big premature, and given that they may initially have difficulty handling food with their hands and take longer to control the forceps, and their limited control of chewing -because they did not complete their intrauterine development-, it may be useful start with shredded foods.
Little by little they will master the technique and will be able to handle themselves with more ease, to advance in the chewing process. And, when you want to realize it, he will eat the same as you.
You can read more articles similar to Tips for Feeding a Premature Baby in His First Year of Life, in the Premature category on site.