Is my breast milk sufficient for my baby to gain good weight?
In case of extremely premature babies, breast milk alone may not be sufficient, please take a note I am saying ‘may not be’ and not ‘will not be’.
The reason is, in extreme premature babies, the requirement of protein is 4gm/kg/day. The required amount of protein is not available in the breast milk of most of the mothers. That’s why we supplement with human milk fortifier.
What's the advantage of expressed breast milk?
Extremely premature babies do not have the knowledge and strength to empty the breast milk, which in turn gradually decreases the supply of breast milk.
Thus expressed breast milk is preferred as it helps achieving two things, first is that it keeps up the continuity of breast milk supply in the mother, and second is that expressed milk can be given to the baby through tube and in later stages by other means of feeding.
What can I do to help my baby’s normal growth?
Recent studies have shown that increasing the maternal and infant bonding has a positive impact on the development of the brain. Kangaroo mother care (KMC) provides such bonding sessions and should be initiated even when the infant is in the incubator or the radiant warmer. Equipment supporting the open hands-on parental care should be preferred to encourage KMC and baby holding sessions. Such interactions encourage a strong mother-infant bond, thereby, helps foster brain development.5
Will low birth weight affect the normal development of my baby?
The key here is to monitor and take care of the baby till 40 weeks of pregnancy. We, in fact, must create a womb outside the womb to make sure nothing hinders the normal growth of baby.
The selection of hospital, more importantly the NICU, also plays a major role. All NICUs are not same, it’s very important that you select a NICU with all the necessary equipment to save premature babies without any disabilities. At Cloudnine, we have GE Giraffe warmers, incubators, phototherapy machines and all the other required equipment. You also need to make sure that your baby is taken care by a team of experienced Doctors and team with experience in managing premature babies.
“If managed well during initial days of life till 40 weeks of age and desired weight, the baby will lead a normal and healthy life.”
Will my baby look small all her life?
No, the reason why premature babies look small at birth is because they are born before 40 weeks of gestation, in other words, before they reach full body growth.
They grow normally, if managed well from the first day to 40 weeks of age
Have you observed any common mistake or ignorance by the parents of preemies?
Not at Cloudnine, because here we follow standard protocols. But we have observed that parents miss out regular follow-ups once the baby is discharged from the NICU.
At least, monthly visits and following up with a pediatrician who has experience in handling premature babies are very important. There are a lot of babies who need follow up for retinopathy of prematurity, thus a visit to an experienced ophthalmologist is required. The follow up for prevention and treatment of the osteopenia of the prematurity is also needed.
“Little efforts from parents’ side, post discharge, will make sure that the babies are free from any further complication and disability.”
Dr. Kishore Kumar is a world-renowned neonatologist who has worked across North America, the UK, Asia and Australia. Having completed an MBBS from Karnataka, and a DCH each from Mysore University and London, Dr. Kishore went on to secure an MD from Mysore University, an MRCP (Peds) and a FRCPCH from the UK, as well an MRCPI (Peds) and a FRCPI from Ireland. He also completed a Fellowship in Neonatal ICU with an FRACP from Melbourne, Australia, clinching the certification as one of the youngest and highest qualified neonatologists in the world.
After spending nearly 18 years overseas, Dr. Kishore, along with three other founders, established Cloudnine Group of Hospitals in 2006. The genesis of the hospital was rooted in his belief that ‘pregnancy is a wellness, not an illness’. Through Cloudnine, he was determined to raise quality and service standards in maternal and neonatal care in India, a vision he has successfully achieved over the past decade.
As the Founding Chairman and senior neonatologist at Cloudnine, Dr. Kishore has been
instrumental in propelling Cloudnine Group of Hospitals to the pinnacle of the maternity and neonatal landscape today. He has received an array of honors for his achievements in neonatology, the most noted being a felicitation for his contribution to the field of neonatology by former US president, Bill Clinton.