Caring for a premature baby at home requires special care as the baby’s body is still very weak. Note 9 things below will help mothers to be more stable in the process of raising children.
Babies born before 37 weeks of pregnancy are classified as premature babies. The main problem most common in premature babies is that babies are often underweight, their body parts are not working properly and their resistance is often very weak. So raising, especially feeding and preventing viral diseases will be more difficult than term babies. Therefore, mothers need to pay close attention to the following 9 things when taking care of premature babies at home.
Create a cool, clean space for your baby
Premature babies’ rooms need to be absolutely clean, fresh and cool air. Do not think that your child is born prematurely, weakly, but all day long. This will give the pathogenic bacteria more opportunities to grow, making it easier for the baby to get sick.
Your baby needs milk more often than full term babies
Babies born prematurely have not yet fully developed their bodies, so their ability to know hunger will be completely different from normal babies. Moreover, the baby sleeps a lot in the first months (sleeping hours can be up to 18-20 hours / day), so mothers need to wake up their babies to feed them regularly. Each meal should only eat a small amount, avoid overeating so that your child will not vomit.
The child’s digestive system and absorption are very poor
Because the stomach of a premature baby is very small, a large amount of food can cause reflux and vomiting a lot. To avoid this phenomenon, mothers need to pay special attention to belching after breastfeeding.
Pick up or hold the baby upright in a suitable position, then stroke the spine or gently pat until you hear a burp to ensure that the baby is comfortable and prevent vomiting after eat.
Pay special attention to the issue of your child’s weight gain
Premature babies have many difficulties in gaining weight and their growth rate is also slower than normal babies.
According to the WHO guidelines for care of preterm infants, 2003, the rate of weight gain of preterm babies is as follows:
Baby increase about 20g per day until they are 32 weeks (according to the week of pregnancy), equivalent to about 150-200g / week.
Children increase about 25g per day from 33-36 weeks (calculated according to the week of pregnancy), equivalent to about 200-250g / week.
Children increase about 30g per day from 37-40 weeks (based on the week of pregnancy), equivalent to about 250-300g / week.
Therefore, mothers should buy an electronic scale with divided and accurate measurements to weigh babies daily in the first months. If the baby has not gained weight to the standard, the mother must adjust the feeding method and take nutritional supplements according to the instructions of the doctor.
Make sure your child’s body temperature is always stable and warm
Taking care of a premature baby at home needs to know that the baby is susceptible to heat loss and cold. This is also the main reason why babies get sick so often. Therefore, the mother should pay attention as follows:
- I need to wear one layer of clothes 1 layer more than the daily weather.
- Always keep your baby’s feet warm by wearing thin socks or shoes. Make sure the baby’s feet are warm at all times.
- After bathing the baby, mothers need to prepare towels and warm clothes (using a dryer to warm them is quite a convenient way) to wear them. This will prevent the child’s body temperature from dropping suddenly after bathing.
Regularly perform the skin-to-skin method when taking care of premature babies at home
“Skin to skin” is also known as the Kangaroo method. This is a kind of hugging, holding a newborn so that the baby’s skin and the skin of the father or mother come in direct contact with each other. It could be the position on his bare chest or between his mother’s chest. And use only one blanket over the baby’s back. Direct skin interaction is beneficial for both the holder and the baby.
Control the immune system and prevent viruses causing disease in the baby
Caring for a premature baby at home is a difficult job that puts many mothers vulnerable because the chances of their baby getting sick are higher than usual. To help children have healthy resistance, mothers need:
– If not because of health conditions or difficulties, babies need to be fed with breast milk from birth. This will be a source of essential nutrients and antibodies for your premature baby.
– Limit the holding and contact of outsiders until the child is healthy enough.
– Absolutely do not take children to crowded and narrow places.
– Family members need to wash their hands and feet thoroughly before picking up their children.
Stimulate physical and brain development for the baby
Usually preterm babies can reach developmental milestones more slowly from 2-3 months. However, this also depends on many other factors such as the care and nurturing of the baby from birth. 4 important things that mothers need to do every day when taking care of a premature baby to develop early baby include:
– Talk and play with your baby often
– Massage your baby after each bath
– Let your baby listen to soothing music
– Regularly sunbathe your baby like a full term baby
Mom try to relax and avoid stress
The anxiety and fear of giving birth premature is a common mood among many mothers. This also easily affects the ability of the baby to suckle and the development of the baby. Try to relax, accept the fact that you are taking care of a premature baby, although it is a little special, but then the baby will grow up like any other normal child.
All difficult times will pass, preterm mothers try to take time to take care of themselves and share the work of taking care of children with their relatives around. Mother’s time and effort will be compensated when the baby grows up healthy. That is the most important thing for mothers and premature babies.