Research shows that giving your premature baby breast milk benefits both their health and yours. Breast milk contains antibodies, hormones, nutrients and growth factors that nourish your premature baby and provide a protective defence against infections. Breast milk is easier for a small baby to digest than formula milk, so you’ll be encouraged to breastfeed or to express your milk if your baby is too small to suck at the breast. The neonatal intensive care nurses will support you to use a pump to express milk for your baby. Providing breastmilk is your way of supporting your baby’s progress.
Bliss – an organisation to support parents and carers of babies who are born prematurely or sick.
Twins or more
When you know you’re expecting more than one baby, breastfeeding can seem a daunting prospect! However, with careful preparation and good support, it’s definitely possible. Remember, any amount of breastfeeding is better than no breastfeeding at all.
Caring for two or more babies not only takes more time, but also requires more physical and emotional energy. To get breastfeeding established, surround yourself with people who can offer you help and support. There are many breastfeeding helplines you can call for advice and local groups you can join – talk to your midwife or public health nurse (health visitor) or look at the ‘useful links’ on this page: All about breastfeeding
Multiple babies are often born premature or may just be small. In either case, they may need special attention to achieve successful breastfeeding. In the early days they may not be able to sufficiently stimulate a good milk supply so expressing your milk can be a helpful way of getting your breasts to produce more.
All babies are individuals and multiples babies are no exception. Gradually you’ll learn the separate habits and feeding abilities of each baby. While a set routine is a bit much to expect, you’ll find that many babies settle into natural feeding rhythm once they’ve reached six weeks old.
- It’s always good to meet with others going through similar issues, so seek out a group for parents of multiple babies. The Twins and Multiple Birth Association (TAMBA) will help you find a group in your area.
- Advice from the Infant Sleep Information Service (ISIS) on safer sleep for twins and multiple babies.
- Infant feeding support groups across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland
- Breastfeeding peer support information– Leicester Leicestershire and Rutland
Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust runs a confidential secure text messaging service for parents of children aged 0-19 years called Chat Health. The service operates Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm, excluding bank holidays. All texts will be responded to by a public health nurse (health visitor/school nurse) within 24 hours. Outside of the service working hours, you’ll receive a message back to inform you that your text will be responded to once the line reopens.
Should you require urgent health advice in the meantime, please contact your GP, visit an NHS walk-in centre or call NHS 111. For emergencies, dial 999 or visit A&E.
Leicester City: text 07520 615381
Leicestershire & Rutland: text 07520 615382