Premature babies and breastfeeding, how to regulate

Source: Shutterstock

How babies should be fed premature? It is important that they take on the breast milk? Here are some useful insights on the subject.

  • Premature babies and nutrition, from drip to breast milk
  • Premature babies: the importance of breastfeeding 
Read also: Premature Babies: Causes, Risks, and Feeding of Preterm Babies

Premature babies and nutrition, the transition from drip to breast milk

Recall that the Del Paesena Society of Neonatology defines "premature babies" as those who are born before the 37th week of gestation.

Every year in Del Paese about 30 children are born prematurely, nearly 1 in 100 before the 32nd week of gestation. They are children who, having not yet fully matured organs and systems, are not yet ready to adapt to life outside the womb and for this they need more attention and care.

Babies born before 32 weeks and under one pound are still unable to feed and tolerate what they eat. For this reason, the power supply takes place via a drip containing the necessary nutrients, to then integrate a little at a time with feeding through a tube in the stomach, which introduces milk drop by drop in increasing quantities based on tolerance, in order to nourish the baby, but also to induce the maturation of intestinal function , which in premature babies has not yet completed. 

Since milk is injected with the tube, everything is done to give the baby the fresh breast milk, which preserves all the nutritional properties unaltered: that is, the mother she comes to the ward at set times, expresses her milk with a breast pump and is immediately given to the baby. However, if for various reasons it is not possible to breastfeed in the ward, the mother pulls her milk from home and, following the instructions given to her in the ward, keeps it in the fridge and then takes it to the hospital. 

Read also: Breastfeeding, 10 rules to breastfeed well and for a long time

Premature babies: the importance of breastfeeding

In general the Ministry of Health recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months; after this time the child begins to take other foods. However, breast milk is a fundamental part of the diet up to two years of life or even beyond.

What if the baby is premature? According to the SIN, “nature is always generous and protects even more the children most at risk; the premature baby, in fact, benefits from your mother's milk in a special way, through the reduction of even fatal diseases such as septicemia or necrotizing enterocolitis. Preterm babies who receive breast milk will also have a distance better neurological development».

Breastfeeding also helps the mother: it gives her back her natural primary role and makes her feel indispensable for her baby. There whipped milkalthough negatively conditioned by the stress of preterm birth, it can occur at any gestational age. The quantities of colostrum produced, even if minimal, are more often than not sufficient to initiate a minimal, very precocious feeding, which is essential for "critical" infants.

Even the neonatologist Costantino della cittàgnoli, director of the operative unit of neonatology of the Gemelli university hospital in the city, stated that "breast milk for premature babies it is even more important than for full-term babies, for different reasons. From a nutritional point of view, it contains everything what the child needs in every period of his growth, limits the risk of intolerances, has immunological properties which help to strengthen the immature immune system, contains substances that promote the intestinal maturation. Later, when the baby becomes able to attach itself directly to the mother's breast - around 33 weeks - breastfeeding consolidates the mother-baby relationship ".

If it is not possible to give the mother's milk due to illnesses or for other reasons, we use donated breast milk - through the so-called "milk banks" - or specific artificial milks for premature babies.

Read also: The positions for breastfeeding


  • breastfeeding
  • premature babies
  • prematurity risks
add a comment of Premature babies and breastfeeding, how to regulate
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.