FAQ 15: My baby was born prematurely and was tube fed, how can I bring her to breasts?

When you give birth early, your breast milk may be higher in many of the nutrients that your baby needs, such as protein and iron. In addition, all breast milk may help protect your baby against infection and disease and strengthen your baby's immune system

Intial Days. 

  • Expressing milk It's recommended you express often, ideally at least 8 times a day to begin with – including at least once or twice, early morning at night – to keep your milk supply up. In the early days, it's often easier to express your milk by hand and then Mothers may choose to transition to hospital-grade pumps
  • Your paediatrician may prescribe fortifiers to expedite the baby's weight gain process which would be mixed with expressed breastmilk.
  • Expressed breastmilk should be offered via a tube.

Once the baby is back at home 

  • Mothers can slowly begin the process to transition to breasts
  • Start with/continue ample of skin to skin aka kangaroo mother care with the baby - This is a long, slow and relaxing process but has numerous benefits for the baby's development and to bring the baby to the breasts
  • Attempt to Latch the baby periodically but do not force feed.
  • Initially baby may latch for a few minutes and that is absolutely fine just hang in there till your baby gets latch right
  •  Alternatively, continue expressing milk and offering via paladai or spoon. If bottle-fed then follow the paced feeding technique with a preemie teat.

Most importantly do not give up, you've got this!