Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Three Things You Should Know About Breastfeeding A Preemie

  1. Premature labor triggers the same shift in hormones that full-term labor does, thus cueing mom's body to start producing milk. It was shocking and amazing to me that, despite never even really looking pregnant, I was able to pump colostrum and, within 24 hours, measurable ounces of milk. (Note: I am a woman whose milk fully comes in within that first day- this is neither usual nor necessary.)
  2. The breast milk produced by preemie moms differs fairly significantly from that of full-term moms. Some neonatologists theorize that the breast milk of preemie moms contains higher levels of white blood cells, antibodies, and other valuable immune properties that may help a premature baby resist infection.
  3. For moms of very premature babies, "breastfeeding" really means "pumping". It takes a huge commitment to decide to pump every 2 to 3 hours for weeks, perhaps months, before there's even a chance your baby can attempt to nurse at the breast. For moms whose premature labor was caused by issues with their own health, this can be even more challenging.

What would you like more people to know about? What can you teach me? Link up with your own "Three Things You Should Know..." post so we can all be a little more informed!

(I've just opened up "Three Things You Should Know Thursday" as a meme, but I've actually been writing them for a long time! To see some of my "Three Things..." archives, just head here.)

No comments: