28 April 2011 by , No Comments

When a newborn is delivered prematurely, this situation produces a lot of stress and worries to the mother. It’s an instinct for mothers to become anxious for the safety and survival of their premature baby. The first problem which comes to a mother’s mind is how her newborn can be provided with the right kind of nourishment outside her womb.


There is a continuous debate on what is the ideal feeding pattern for pre-term babies. However, it is important to note that breastfeeding plays a crucial role on the health and overall chances of survival of a newborn baby.


Certain hospital guidelines and protocols are followed by healthcare professionals when taking care of a premature baby. Naturally, the level of care is more intensive when tending to a pre-term baby because an infant born pre-term was unable to complete the intrauterine growth and development process which only happens naturally in the mother’s womb.


Breastfeeding is one exception to the rule which goes beyond most NICU rules and guidelines. The only source of food of the uterus is their mother. If born pre-term this rule should continue still. The continuity in the connection of mother and newborn is crucial for the level of survival rate among preterm babies.


Although modern Science facilitated for increased chances of survivability among premature babies, the survival rate if most preterm babies can be mostly attributed to skin to skin contact during breastfeeding. This type of mother-newborn interaction is popularly known as kangaroo care and is widely-practiced in hospital worldwide.


Kangaroo care is a special bonding, latching, and breastfeeding technique in tending for premature babies with special needs. There are many advantages which the Kangaroo care method is advantageous to both mother and preterm baby. There is so much scientific rationale behind this type of care which I think is awesome when you put all of its components together.


Kangaroo care fosters bonding between mother and child. This is enforced by putting on only a nappy on the infant and placing him or her in between her mother’s skin and a blanket. The amount of thermal heat produced by the mother is more than enough to facilitate comfort to the infant. Skin to skin contact is very important for pre-term babies because they’re inherently used to being near their mother for the time being that they were inside the womb. This type of connection, though in an extra uterine setting does help in the growth and development of the preterm baby as well.


One of the advantages of kangaroo care is that it stimulates a mother’s hormone to produce milk. Mothers are 50% more likely to produce milk in a convenient manner when they are in close contact with their preterm babies.

Kangaroo care can facilitate early latching to the preterm baby. The earlier a newborn is introduced to latching the more likely it is for him or her to absorb sufficient amounts of nutrients from breast milk so the infant can thrive and get used to the environment outside of the babies womb.


If there is a need for fortification during breastfeeding a pre term baby, allow your health care professionals to provide them to your infant. Make sure to understand the reasons why these things should be provided for your baby.

Some pre term babies don’t need fortification in their feedings. They just need a constant supply of breast milk to survive outside of their mother’s womb.

When your premature baby does not latch well or feed poorly through the Kangaroo technique, you can always express the breast milk and feed them to your infant through bottles.


This might be a bit disappointing on the mother’s end, but at the least you are feeding your preterm infant with your own breast milk and not with milk formulas that just doesn’t provide them with the essential nutrients and antibodies which only a mother’s breast milk can deliver.


Comments are closed.