Oded Preis MD Neonatology DrMDK.com
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Host: When you do feed a tiny premature, you just don't go to the kind of drug store and get the sustaining formulas, do you? Dr. Oded Preis: No, we do have a host of special formulas that are designed for the growing premature baby, when the baby is in it's gestation or extreme premature babies, a lot of times we will feed them very slowly small amounts, dilute formulas that are custom tailored initially. When they are ready to handle larger volume, there are a larger volumes of formula. We have a special formulas for growing premature babies and a lot of times when they are going home, on discharge, they will be discharged on a different formulas than the regular newborns that are leaving the hospital. They would be discharged with what we call growing formulas for -- formulas that are designed for growing preemies which are higher in calories and are gentler on the intestine because premature babies do have higher nutritional needs and higher caloric needs than newborns that are born a terme. In an way we are mimicking nature because babies that are born premature, there are mothers for the first three to fours actually produce milk that is denser in calories and richer in nutrients than that of a full term baby. So in a way we are mimicking nature's attempts to protect itself. Host: Can we breastfeed these babies in these periods? Dr Oded Preis: Oh, absolutely, these babies can be breastfeed and mothers can extract their milk and that can be given to the baby and it's definitely beneficial. Breast milk does have a lot of a components that are nutritionally superior, the immune qualities of breast milk is extremely positive especially for smaller growing preemie. So there is no question that these babies can be breastfeed. They may not be strong enough to actually latch on and breastfeed directly from the mother but the milk can expressed and be fed to these babies via a bottle.