Having a preterm baby can be difficult on the mom. You are scared and worried about their well-being and development. Rounds of NICU, sleepless nights, worrying about brain development and milestones are inevitable. But there are way too many myths about preemies that needs to be looked at. According to WHO, every year about 15 million babies are born prematurely around the world. So it’s pretty common. Here’s busting 5 Nutrition myths about preemies.

But first who are pre-term babies?

A baby born before 37 weeks of gestation is considered a preterm baby. Premature babies are more susceptible to health complications than full-term infants. They need to be under special care to constantly monitor their breathing, feeding, and maintaining body temperature.

What are the Nutrition Myths about Preemies?

myths about premature baby nutrition

#Myth 1 – Preterm babies cannot Breastfeed Exclusively

Fact: Preterm babies can have a latching problem but there’s no reason why you can’t breastfeed them exclusively. Expressed breastmilk can be fed through syringe or infant bottles until they are strong enough to latch.

#Myth 2 – Premature babies cannot start breastfeeding until they are 34 weeks gestation.

Fact: The latching action comes in babies with practise. A pre-term baby can breastfeed even by 29-30 week gestation age.

#Myth 3 – Preemies don’t eat as much as full-term babies

 Fact: A full-term new born baby’s stomach size is like a marble, so you can imagine how tiny the size of the stomach would be in case of preemies. Preterm babies take less amount of feed in one session because of this reason. But they feed more often than full-term babies. You might need to feed your preterm baby every hour or every half an hour depending on his weight and size.

#Myth 4 – Preemies are always smaller than kids of same age

Fact: Most preterm babies catch up on weight and height by the end of their first year. The first few months in the life of a preterm baby is crucial and its best not to compare them with full-term babies of same age during this time.

myths about premature baby nutrition

#Myth 5 – Preterm baby only needs formula milk till he can breastfeed

Fact: Breastmilk has prebiotics and probiotics and these good bacteria helps a preterm baby’s gut with antibodies. These antibodies help to protect intestinal inflammation and infections like NEC and sepsis. The colostrum is very important for a preterm baby too because it stimulates rapid growth of the intestinal tract and mucosal lining. There’s no reason why you should skip breastfeeding your preemie and stick to formula milk.

Breastmilk is more than just a meal. Don’t be scared to feed your preterm baby

Breastmilk is more than just a meal! Breastmilk helps to reduce many serious preterm complications and is a life-saving natural medication for preemies. WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding as the optimal source of nutrition for the baby for the first six months of life.

Breastmilk is also important for brain development in an infant. 70% of your child’s brain development happens during pregnancy and 90% of the baby’s brain growth happens up to 1 year of age. Breastmilk alone contains specialized nutrients like DHA, Natural Vitamin E, Choline, Taurine and Iron that help in brain development and infant cognition.

Don’t be scared to breastfeed your preterm baby. They need your milk for its protective factors. Breastfeeding and mental stimulation together is the best FeedIQ you can give.

Deficiencies in macro-and micronutrients during pregnancy and lack of proper nutrition can hamper foetal development. An expecting mum and a lactating mum both need equally good nutrition for baby’s development. While you need to ensure you are having optimal nutrition during pregnancy, you can also supplement with specialized nutrition made for expecting and lactating moms.

SimMom IQ+ is a blend of brain nutrients and high quality protein containing DHA, natural vitamin E, choline and taurine that helps foetal development and pass good nutrients while breastfeeding. Just two servings of SimMom IQ+ everyday will help meet 100% RDA requirements of key nutrients during pregnancy and lactation.

lactating mom

Did You Know, most neo-natal deaths are preventable?

India contributes over 40% of the global low birth weight babies who are highly vulnerable towards morbidity and mortality. But most neo-natal deaths are preventable. With proper resources and training saving lives of infants, mostly pre-term babies get easier.

Abbot has joined hands with Laerdal Medical India Pvt. Ltd. Which is the Indian subsidiary of Laerdal Medical AS (Headquartered in Norway) to train Nurses on Essential care for every baby and Essential care for small baby. This specialized training designed by Laerdal consists of –  small baby care, exclusive breast feeding, manual expression of breast milk & nasogastric tube feeding, Kangaroo Mother Care, Family centric care etc.

Laerdal goal is to save 500,000 more lives per year by 2020. They aim at helping save lives of new-borns and mothers in low-resource countries. Let’s wish them success in making India a better equipped country for handling preemies.


19 Comments on Busting 5 Nutrition Myths about Preemies – Feeding your Preterm baby #FeedIQ

  1. Deepa
    November 16, 2018 at 3:28 pm (5 months ago)

    Thus is a must read post for all expecting moms. There are many myths around preterm babies and it’s important for moms to know what’s right and what’s not.

  2. Dipika Singh
    November 16, 2018 at 10:53 pm (5 months ago)

    These myths are so common and have been told generations after generation that eventually people started following it. Glad that you have burst these in your post and shown what’s right.

  3. Neha Sharma
    November 17, 2018 at 10:54 pm (5 months ago)

    When it comes to the well being of babies, parents tend to follow any advice coming from anywhere without even checking if it’s coming from the right source. This post is a must read by all new parents to bust those nutrition myths about preemies.

  4. Akshata
    November 18, 2018 at 2:36 pm (5 months ago)

    Great to see you busting all the myths associated with preemies. Breastmilk is the elixir for all kids and don’t see why people think preemies are not fit to have it till a certain time.

  5. Mariia Shendrik
    November 19, 2018 at 9:53 am (5 months ago)

    Very interesting and useful for all moms-to-be!

  6. Adnan
    November 19, 2018 at 10:46 am (5 months ago)

    Moms feel skeptical about feeding the premature infants. You have discussed multiple myths that can drastically affect the baby’s health. Must read post for moms pertaining to premature delivery.

  7. Ruchi Verma
    November 22, 2018 at 6:24 am (5 months ago)

    There are seriously many myths which I have heard when my baby was born …so much socially created talks and all but I know personally preterm babies are born with their fighting strength and they are no where less than full term baby…being a mom of 25th week born baby I can relate so much and can go on writing here ….but must say you have pointed out great points here

  8. Milan
    November 23, 2018 at 4:11 pm (5 months ago)

    Thanks for busting so many myths around premature babies. I am sharing this article with one of my friends who just delivered a preemie and remains worried all the time. hope this blog helps her.

  9. Pragnya Mishra
    November 23, 2018 at 5:33 pm (5 months ago)

    Preemie parents are already scared about well-being of child and such myths keep them worried for no reason. You busted many myth Tina.

  10. Deborah Miranda
    November 23, 2018 at 9:09 pm (5 months ago)

    I love that you have been outright and clearly debunked some such stupid ideology of some people. A sensitive topic its nice to see you talk about premature babies.

  11. Sayeri
    November 24, 2018 at 8:02 pm (5 months ago)

    I believe it’s our responsibility to make people more aware a3bout these facts specially for the mom to be. Hope it will help them all. And it’s a very informative post even I didn’t know all facts.

  12. Neha Jain
    November 24, 2018 at 8:11 pm (5 months ago)

    Thank you for sharing this with me, I am really happy to see this post as some of my friends are expecting I would love to share this post with them as it is really informative to know about this.

  13. Ashvini Naik
    November 25, 2018 at 8:53 am (5 months ago)

    Tina, I had no idea that preemies can be breastfed exclusively. Thanks to the bubble of myths surrounding premature birth.

    Your post is an eye opener to many.

  14. haajra
    November 25, 2018 at 2:21 pm (5 months ago)

    Our youngest was born at 35 weeks and was exclusively breastfed. It has been one of the best decisions of our life and a life-changing one too.

  15. Jhilmil D Saha
    November 25, 2018 at 2:40 pm (5 months ago)

    This is definitely a very important post for expecting moms. Its really important to take care of preemies but that does not mean we stop all normal activities.

  16. Radhikka Karkare
    November 25, 2018 at 4:12 pm (5 months ago)

    Such a useful post for new mothers of premies and expecting moms. Love the way you have explained in such detail

  17. Roma
    November 25, 2018 at 5:01 pm (5 months ago)

    I am so glad Tina you wrote this article, I have a 32 weeks premie and his first feed was breast feed. So all these are pure myths which need to be busted.

    November 25, 2018 at 8:57 pm (5 months ago)

    I was not aware of all lot what you have mentioned here… Very informative… Thanks for sharing the post

  19. Princy Khurana
    November 25, 2018 at 10:06 pm (5 months ago)

    this topic needs to reach more people. these myths should be dispelled so that more and more people are not afraid.


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