Preterm Baby Care – 3 Essential Tips for New Moms

Preterm Baby Care

Hi everyone, today I am going to talk about Preterm baby care and what parents can do to help their premature babies achieve optimal growth in the initial months.

During my last trimester pregnancy, I was really worried as I had heard many cases of preterm deaths and complicated preterm deliveries. One of our neighbors had a premature baby who came back home after spending 15 days in the NICU. When they came home with the baby, I saw how tiny that baby was, so fragile like a small flower and had tubes going inside her nose. That was a really heartbreaking sight. I didn’t see the baby for the next 3 months as she was kept inside the house to avoid any infections.

Most pregnancies normally last about 40 weeks and if a birth occurs before the 37th week of pregnancy it is termed as preterm birth.

These babies are considered premature and have an increased risk of complications. These preterm babies need special care as some of their organs are underdeveloped and there are high chances of getting an infection.

I am listing down the 3 essential tips which can help parents in preterm baby care-

1 – Understand & Manage the Nutritional Needs of your Preterm Baby

This is the most important part of preterm baby care as proper nutrition is very important for their growth. Since the preterm babies are born before time, there is a possibility that their organs are not yet fully developed. Their digestive system may not work similar to a full term baby. If the baby has underdeveloped lungs, they may be given fluids through an IV (intravenous).

Preterm Baby Care - 3 essential tips for new moms

Breast milk is considered best for both preterms as well as full-term babies as it provides the essential nutrients along with DHA and natural vitamin E. If you are able to produce milk, and your baby is able to suckle then doctors will recommend exclusive breastfeeding every 2 hours. In case the baby is not able to latch, you will be advised to express milk for the baby.

You may also read – 6 Successful Breastfeeding tips for new moms!

In case you are not able to produce milk, consult a lactation specialist immediately. Do not delay! Your healthcare provider may ask your permission to give formula feed to the baby until your supply is established.

Please remember, even just a few drops of breast milk at a time will do them good.

In my previous posts on #FeedIQ, I have shared how the nutrition intake of a mother during pregnancy and breastfeeding impacts the growth of the baby. To avoid any nutritional deficiencies during pregnancy, mothers can also take a supplement (after consulting their doctor) like SimMom IQ+ by Abbott. This is a specialized nutrition which offers an IQblend of brain nutrients and high-quality protein that helps in the fetal brain development & healthy birthing.

2- Offer Kangaroo Mother Care

Many doctors recommend Kangaroo care since premature babies are not yet ready to live outside their mother’s womb. Kangaroo care is a technique where newborn babies are given direct skin-to-skin contact. Babies are placed on the chest of their mothers immediately after the birth. This is done for many hours a day at least 4 times a week.

Preterm Baby Care - 3 essential tips for new moms



Studies have shown many benefits of this method for both baby and the mother. It is the best way to bond with your newborn and provide him the warmth and safety. Kangaroo care also helps in breastfeeding and fast weight gain in babies.

You may read more about Kangaroo Care, here!

3- Stay Positive & Stress-free

The whole birthing process and the realities of preterm birth may result in stress and anxiety in new moms. You are already coping with so much from raging hormones to the challenges of preterm baby care. But this is the time to stay strong and positive. A mother’s mental and emotional well being is essential for the well being of her baby. Your baby can sense your stress which is not good for both you and the baby.

Preterm Baby Care - 3 essential tips for new moms


Just follow the instructions by your doctor for baby’s proper care and kick that stress out. Enjoy your motherhood and the time with your newborn. You won’t even realize how fast these little babies grow. Just cherish every moment spent with them!

According to WHO, every year, an estimated 15 million babies are born preterm. And preterm birth complication is the most common cause of death among children under 5 years of age (approx. 1 million deaths). More than three-quarter of preterm babies can be saved with feasible, cost-effective care.

Laerdal Global Health is a not-for-profit company dedicated to helping save lives of mothers and newborns. Their goal is to save 5,00,000 more lives every year by 2020. Abbott has collaborated with Laerdal to support their initiative of providing training workshops to nurses on ‘Essential care for every baby and Essential care for small baby’.

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    Deepa November 16, 2018 at 1:24 pm - Reply

    These are great tips for moms and would be moms to understand the preterm babies and their care. Staying calm and stress free is very important.

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      Neha Sharma November 16, 2018 at 1:31 pm - Reply

      Thanks Deepa. Yes, staying calm is absolutely important as babies can feel the stress around them and it may hamper their growth.

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    Dipika Singh November 16, 2018 at 11:01 pm - Reply

    Very well explained tips Neha, being stress-free is the crux. Right nutrition, leaving out visitors, right sleep and skin-to-skin touch is the best way to bring a preterm healthy.

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      Neha Sharma November 16, 2018 at 11:41 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Dipika!

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    Surbhi Prapanna November 17, 2018 at 2:45 am - Reply

    This is really a great informative post-Neha, with valuable tips. indeed preterm labour puts a emotional and mental pressure on parents and it is very important to have a stress free and calm environment. thanks for including kangaroo care factor, I would love to learn more about it.

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    Jhilmil Bhansali November 17, 2018 at 6:51 am - Reply

    What a wonderful initiative by Abbott. Preterm babies need lots of care and these tips will really help in their growth. Kangaroo care n breastfeeding are quite important.

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      Neha Sharma November 17, 2018 at 8:04 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Jhilmil!

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    Tina Basu November 17, 2018 at 9:00 am - Reply

    Kangaroo care is the best for preemies to regulate their body temperature. You have listed down very good tips for preterm baby’s care.

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      Neha Sharma November 17, 2018 at 6:52 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Tina!

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    Nidhi KM November 17, 2018 at 11:53 am - Reply

    Pre term babies need special care. Mothers too have to take care of themselves emotionally, mentally and physically to be able to take better care of babies.

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      Neha Sharma November 17, 2018 at 6:52 pm - Reply

      Yes, if a mother is healthy and happy, she will be able to take good care of her baby. Thanks for stopping by, Nidhi!

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    Neha November 17, 2018 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    This is a well researched and useful article for moms with pre term babies. The whole pregnancy and the stress can be overwhelming for a new mom and such helpful articles help them relax and understand better.

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      Neha Sharma November 17, 2018 at 10:28 pm - Reply

      I am glad you liked the post, Neha. Thanks for your valuable comment.

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    Priyal November 17, 2018 at 4:29 pm - Reply

    How nicely you have explained this, will keep in mind and share with my cousins and sister in laws

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      Neha Sharma November 17, 2018 at 6:51 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much, Priyal!

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    Yogita Amit Joshi November 17, 2018 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    Wow, great tips for moms with pretem babies.. its surely gonna be very useful for them. Its really important to be stress free.

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      Neha Sharma November 17, 2018 at 6:50 pm - Reply

      Thanks for stopping by, Yogita!

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    Preetjyot Kaur November 17, 2018 at 9:37 pm - Reply

    A preterm baby need a lot of care and I really feel your post is quite insightful. This will definitely make it easier for new moms.

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      Neha Sharma November 17, 2018 at 10:27 pm - Reply

      Thanks for your kind words, Preet!

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    Paresh Godhwani November 17, 2018 at 10:29 pm - Reply

    Recently, my sister had preterm delivery and at that she was scared as well. I will share this post with her to keep these things in mind.

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      Neha Sharma November 17, 2018 at 10:32 pm - Reply

      I am sure these tips will be really helpful for her. Thank you!

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    Jenifer Sayyed November 17, 2018 at 11:02 pm - Reply

    Very important and helpful post. Am glad you shared your valuable inputs and making readers aware of essential tips. Keep doing great work.

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    Bushra November 17, 2018 at 11:02 pm - Reply

    No doubt pre term Baby need special care and treatment. These tips are so helpful especially breastfeeding. Never know that kangaroo care helps a lot

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    Akanksha November 17, 2018 at 11:23 pm - Reply

    Beautifully written and well explained. Its so important to be stress-free in order to tàke caŕe of yourself and as well as proper care of baby. Mother’s stress gets easily transferred to the baby. These tips will help many mums.

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    Papri Ganguly November 17, 2018 at 11:29 pm - Reply

    These tips are really helpful and informative. This should be read by all new moms. Thanks for sharing

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    Prisha Lalwani November 18, 2018 at 12:14 am - Reply

    I love the point – stay positive and stress free. In caring frr children we often let go of such aspects and don’t realize their cruciality

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    Akshata November 18, 2018 at 2:38 pm - Reply

    Excellent work done by Laerdal in this field especially in low resource countries. Your post is really informative. Its important for a new mom to stay stress free in able to care for her preemie.

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    Margaret Rodgers February 4, 2019 at 10:04 pm - Reply

    Hi, Thanks for your great article. I want to add an important point with you that make sure your baby has ample time alone with Daddy. His touch and voice are different than yours, and this will begin a bonding process and give you a break. Plus, it gets the baby used to be with someone other than you. The first few times can be hard. Make sure your baby is fed and well rested, as this will give you at least one or two hours before you’re needed again. Then leave Dad and the baby alone. If you stay nearby, make sure the baby can’t see or hear you and resist the urge to go into the room and “fix” things if she starts crying. Your baby cries with you and your experiment to find out what’s wrong. Dads need time to do this too – in their own way. By allowing this time, your child will learn there is more than one way to receive comfort, which will help immensely when you leave your baby with a sitter or another family member for the first time. You could have your partner bathe her, put her to bed or just read or talk to her.

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      Neha Sharma February 5, 2019 at 11:42 am - Reply

      Thanks for sharing these points, will be really helpful for new parents. And I definitely agree with what you have suggested.

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