Premature Birth

Many people think of premature babies (preemies) as being tiny and weak, born months too soon. What you may not know is that this category includes ALL babies born before the 37th week of pregnancy. Whether your baby is healthy and born just a few weeks early or is born very early and is too small to breastfeed, he needs your milk! In fact, he needs your milk more than will help him grow bigger and stronger.

You may need to pump your breasts until he is able to breastfeed, which may take anywhere from a few days to a few months. Remember to keep him skin-to-skin to keep him warm!

If your baby is premature, you will make milk that meets his needs:

• It is higher in calories, fat, and protein.

• It is easily digested – which is important for an underdeveloped digestive system.

• It will help protect him from illness.

• It will protect him from serious bacterial infection.

• It will contribute to higher intelligence, better vision, and better motor development.