Preemie Safety and Health
We asked our friend Dr. Katie Corazzo, naturopathic practitioner and owner of Balanced Care in Edina and Woodbury, for some advice on preemie safety and health.
Many parents take the stance that babies SHOULD be exposed to germs, but it’s different for preemies. What is your advice to parents of preemies in terms of protecting Baby while also keeping sane?
I agree that kids should be exposed to germs because this helps build a strong and resistant immune system. However, in a preemie or really any child that is immune compromised, there is an inability to fight things off like other kids. There are a few simple things that help with preemie safety, health, and general wellness:
- Breastfeed for at least 6 months, if possible. Seek help from a lactation specialist if you’re having trouble latching or consider pumping in the beginning. If your milk supply is low, seek naturopathic treatment to help.
- Try to stay on a consistent sleep schedule for family and Baby. Sleep deprivation can leave the door open for infection.
- Keep kisses to a minimum – for a while, anyway.
- Limit visitors to the house and visits to public places with your preemie.
- Consider having Baby receive chiropractic adjustments from an experienced chiropractor.
- Do not hesitate to take your baby to the ER if she has a fever in the first 2-3 months.
- Wash hands before holding the baby.
- Avoid smoking inside the home.
- Enjoy skin on skin contact with Baby, as much as possible.
- Wear your baby after feeding to help prevent reflux.
What are some ways that you can help with preemie safety, health, and general wellness ?
The best way to boost a preemie’s immune system is through mom while she is breastfeeding. Here are some tips for the breastfeeding mother:
- Drink a lot of water! Half your body weight in ounces per day.
- Take a high quality prenatal multi vitamin while breastfeeding.
- Eat lots of veggies – a variety of colors!
- Probiotics can help maintain healthy digestion and fight off infections.
- If anyone in the house is sick, Mom should reduce or eliminate dairy and sugar from her diet while increasing her immune support (talk to your naturopathic doctor for recommendations).