neonatal staff attends to your infant, the obstetric staff will care for you.
Depending on your condition, this will take
at least a few hours. Meanwhile, your birth partner may want to go with your
infant to the NICU.
Before your breast milk comes in (3 or 4 days
after childbirth), you will be asked to decide whether you plan
to breast-feed or bottle-feed your premature infant. Formula does not give your infant added
protection from early infection, so strongly consider pumping
milk for your infant for at least the first weeks of life. If
you decide to breast-feed, expect at first to pump milk for feedings until your
infant is mature enough to feed orally.
Breast milk contains
antibodies that help protect your vulnerable infant
against early, serious infections, including
necrotizing enterocolitis, as well as ear and upper
respiratory infections during early childhood.
The benefits of
breast milk over formula include better nutrient absorption, digestive
functioning, and nervous system development.
formula and breast milk can offer your infant excellent
Pumping and breast-feeding can
be one of the most beneficial and rewarding things you do for your premature
infant. But it may also be hard and exhausting. If you cannot breast-feed,
decide not to breast-feed, or find that you have to discontinue doing so,
formula feeding will meet your infant's nutritional needs.
lactation consultant can be very helpful with pumping
and breast-feeding questions and problems, both before and after the birth.