Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

10 Things to Expect in the NICU


5
Feeding Opportunities
A baby born at 28 weeks in the NICU during a media tour for the March of Dimes' Prematurity Awareness Month at New York University Medical Center
A baby born at 28 weeks in the NICU during a media tour for the March of Dimes' Prematurity Awareness Month at New York University Medical Center
DCL

You might think that since your baby's care is being overseen by medical professionals, you can't have anything to do with feeding him or her, but that's not true.

If you'd planned to breast-feed, you can feed your baby breast milk -- it's great for preemies and sick babies. He or she might not be strong enough to drink from your breast, but you can still pump and feed it to him or her with a bottle. The hospital will have lactation consultants on staff to assist you with breast-feeding and pumping.

If you're not breast-feeding, you can give your baby a bottle of formula at feeding time. For babies who can't drink from a bottle, breast milk or formula will be fed to him or her through a feeding tube that runs from the nose or mouth directly to the stomach, also known as gavage feeding. Nurses can show you how to take part in this, too.


More to Explore