Feeding your Premature Baby

When your baby is first born, the healthcare team may give her fluids and nutrition through an intravenous (IV line) if she is extremely premature or has breathing difficulties. Alternatively, the doctors may decide that she is mature enough to take milk through a small tube that is passed through the nose into the stomach. Breast milk is the best choice for your baby. If you are making milk and your baby is strong enough to suckle, you will be encouraged to breastfeed. If your baby is too weak, you can express milk and this will be fed to him through a tube. Don't worry or feel guilty if you are not producing milk. Your baby will be given special preterm formula. You can feed this to him through a bottle if he is strong enough, or through a tube. Some units may be able to offer milk donated by another mother.