Last week we knew about how fragile premature babies can be compared to the ones born after full-term gestation. Although they may come out healthy and can develop normally in both mind and body, they must be handled with ‘extra’ care.
As part of the specialized supportive care, parents of preemies must know first and foremost about the benefits of breastfeeding. This article is intended to educate parents of preemies (moms in particular) in why breastfeeding comes highly recommended for these little angels.
- Colostrum is a super food for your preemie.
- The thick, yellowish milk also known as the ‘first milk’ is what we call colostrum. It is produced by moms on the first few days after their babies are born. The colostrum is considered as a super food for the babies as they provide nourishment and strength for the baby’s immune system. It contains high concentration of vitamins, minerals, proteins and healthy fats that fight infection.
- Mothers who deliver premature babies have longer periods of having colostrum than the moms of the term babies. Their colostrum also bears much higher concentration of antibodies, human growth factors and anti-inflammatory factors.
- Breast milk bears good bacteria for healthy cells and antibodies.
- A mother’s milk contains more than 130 probiotics, prebiotics and oligosaccharides which help the preemies’ guts with healthy live cells and antibodies. These bacteria help your baby protect his or her guts from severe intestinal inflammation and Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) that can be fatal.
- Breast milk helps to develop brain and eyes.
- A mother’s milk contains special fats that help a baby’s brain and eyes. A brain-building amino acid called taurine, aids with the retinal (part of the eye) development. Whereas DHA and ARA (simply known as ‘smart fats’) produce myelin, a fatty layer capable of insulating the nerves.