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What if my baby is early?

Created by BabyCenter

Most babies are born in month 9. But sometimes a baby comes early. If you go into labour early, you must go to a hospital. Your baby will need extra care at the birth. If your baby is small and weak you may have to stay at the hospital until he gets stronger.

Giving your baby breastmilk is one of the best things you can do to build up his health. The first milk you make is very thick, creamy and full of goodness. Don’t throw it away. Give your baby this precious gift.

A baby who is born early may not be strong enough to feed at your breast. Feed him by squeezing your milk out into a clean steel bowl (katori) or a paladai. Boil the paladai or bowl in water first and let it cool. This will kill any germs on it. Then squeeze your milk into the bowl or paladai and feed it to your baby.

Use a paladai or bowl and spoon rather than a feeding bottle, because a bottle is more difficult to keep clean and the risk of infection will be less.

Hold your baby on your lap. Gently tilt the spoon or paladai so it touches his lower lip and a little milk enters his mouth. He will soon learn to start lapping the milk.

Your baby will also need lots of warmth. When you can, keep him firmly strapped between your bare breasts to give him warmth from your body. You can keep your baby next to your skin under your clothing, taking care not to cover his nose and mouth.

Wearing a sling made of a dupatta or sari helps to make sure he is securely placed. This will comfort him, help you both to bond, and will also help him to develop. It will also help you to produce breastmilk.

10 February 2015