Premature babies or preemies as we affectionately call them might need to start taking preemie formula after a certain period of time. These preemie formulas are specially formulated to meet a preemies needs, but there are several preemie formulas online and in stores that might leave a nursing mother slightly confused. Another question that might leave moms confused is knowing when to stop premature formula after introducing them to babies, but these are decisions most people feel should be made by a pediatrician or neonantologist.
Parents start to wonder how long they might have to feed their babies with the preemie formula after finding a right and suitable formula, but it is also essential that mothers have a clear understanding of nutritional quality and content of preemie formula so their babies can be off to a healthy start. So many preemies today struggle with feeding, and this is based on the fact that they are not yet ready to start the sucking motion or latching onto their mother’s breast.
Another reason why preemies see feeding as a challenge is because they are yet to possess the strength to hold a bottle firmly for feeding, and their bodies might not yet be able to break down protein in order to absorb the much needed nutrient because of their under developed gastrointestinal tract. It is because of reasons like this that preemies always suffer acid reflux, GERD, and other digestive sickness, causing them to spit up the formula they have consumed.
If adjustments are not made, all of these health conditions we have mentioned will affect your baby severely, causing poor nutrition and growth. Staffs in the intensive care unit are tasked with ensuring a preemie is well fed, and some of the methods adopted to feed babies that aren’t yet breastfeeding includes;
Bottle-Feeding – These are for babies that are finally strong enough to hold onto a bottle and handle the motions for breathing, swallowing, and sucking.
Feeding Tube – The feeding tube is used for supplying necessary nutrients using a feeding tube that gets inserted inside the baby’s stomach, through the mouth, or through the nose.
Intravenous IV – This method involves the required food and nutrient into the baby’s body through the bloodstream.
Babies born with low weight and preemies have specific special formulas they feed on, and these formulas meet up with all of their nutritional needs which is pivotal for a preemies growth and development. Human milk fortifiers and preemies formulas contain more of minerals, vitamins, protein, and calories, and the contents of all these ingredients are more than the contents found in breast milk. All of these nutrients helps underweight babies and preemies to gain weight faster than the usual.
In some cases, doctors recommend special preemie formulas that preemies can be fed with at home, or human milk fortifiers can be added to breast milk to enable the gain more weight quickly. As preemies get used to feeding, doctors might recommend introducing high calorie meals which would speed up their growing process.
When To Stop Premature Formula
How To Choose A Preemie Formula
Just like we mentioned earlier, preemie formulas provides babies with all of the minerals, vitamins, and proteins that will aid their growth and development. Depending on your baby’s nutritional needs, unique diet, and development, parents will be able to create an appropriate feeding plan for their baby, but it is advised that parents consult their baby’s doctor or pediatrician to find the best formula for their baby. The same applies when you are considering changing your baby’s formula.
A little baby’s nutritional diet might change as they get more stronger and bigger, or parents might be tempted to see if a particular formula will be ideal for their little baby. It is very vital that you don’t switch up your baby’s formula on your own without consulting with a pediatrician, and also check for expiration dates or odd smells, or colors to know if it is safe to feed your baby with a particular formula. All formulas must meet all health safety standards before being fed to babies, which is why we recommend buying formulas from recommended retailers.
How To Use Baby Formulas
Since premature babies are vulnerable to several sicknesses and have careful dietary plans, it is very essential that the necessary steps are taken when preparing their formula;
- Make sure the hands are properly washed
- Equipment used in making the formula like nipples, bottles, and preparation surfaces needs to well disinfected and cleaner up
- Water used in preparing the formula should be boiled
- The boiled water should be allowed to cool for about thirty minutes before pouring inside a bottle
- Make sure the specified formula amount is added, not exceeded or below
- Put the bottle together and shake thoroughly so everything will be well dissolved
- The water bottle should be run under cold water
- Ensure the formula temperature is cool enough before going ahead to feed your baby
Parents should not forget how crucial it is that their premature baby gets all the necessary vitamins, minerals, nutrients, calories, and proteins required for their growth and development. These preemie formula should be used for as long as a doctor recommends.
When To Stop Using Preemie Formula
It is very vital that you maintain the preemie formula your doctor recommends for your baby, and this formula could be EnfaCare, NeoSure, Human Milk Fortifier, and Nutriprem 2. Depending on your baby’s needs, feeding your baby with a preemie formula might last for as long as three, six, or 12 months. It also depends on when a baby is able to catch up with growth, and this growth refers to visible weight gain, increased head circumference, and increased height.
You doctor can also consider transiting your baby from a preemie formula to cow milk or regular infant formula, and babies that stay too long on preemie formula stand the risk of obesity because of its high calorie content. In addition, babies are at risk of hypervitaminosis when they stay too long feeding on preemie formula. This condition refers to excess amount of vitamin D in the body, which is why specific feeding plans in preemie babies vary, depending on the baby’s concerns and needs.