Breast Milk Benefits for Preemies

Breast milk is vital for a newborn’s health and development. However, it is especially crucial for babies born prematurely. Because they’ve lost days or weeks of growth in the womb, premature babies, or preemies, need special care, attention, and, of course, breast milk to begin their lives on a healthy note. 

At Pumps for Mom, we know how important it is to get your baby the nutrients they need. Luckily, we have an extensive catalog of top-rated breast pumps to generate a solid milk supply for your little one. Not to mention, they’re free through insurance! Before you start shopping for your pump, let’s talk a bit more about how breast milk benefits your baby, especially if they’re premature. 

In this blog, we’ll deep dive into breast milk benefits for preemies by exploring how it:

  • Supplies nutrients for growth
  • Prevents infection
  • Aids digestion 
  • Offers bonding opportunities 

Supplies Nutrients for Growth

Because preemies’ time in the womb is cut short, they miss out on a lot of vital nutrients gained throughout the tail end of pregnancy. In the womb, babies absorb DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), a fatty acid critical to cognitive development, and immunoglobulin G, an essential antibody for fighting infection, through their mom’s placenta. However, babies will lose out on some of these vital nutrients if they’re born prematurely. 

As a new mama, your job is to replenish your preemie’s nutrients through your breast milk. Rich in the abovementioned nutrients and essential enzymes like protein, fats, sugar, and vitamins, breast milk will give your preemie the sustenance they need to foster healthy growth patterns. 

Prevents Infection 

In their first days of life, it’s critical for babies, especially preemies, to develop a foundation for a strong immune system. Premature infants are especially susceptible to infection due to their innate lack of nutrients and antibodies. Luckily, that’s where your breast milk saves the day, mama! Breast milk contains specific antibodies to protect your preemie from illnesses and fortify their immune system. This is especially true for your first milk dosage, called colostrum, which has unique nutrients and antibodies needed for your child’s first days of life. 

Aids Digestion 

When babies are born early, they lose the opportunity to develop their gastrointestinal tract fully. As a result, premature newborns can experience difficulties with digestion and absorption of nutrients. Fortunately, a mother’s milk is the perfect aid for stagnant digestion, as it’s easy to process and contains healthy enzymes to strengthen a baby’s gastrointestinal tract. Not to mention, it also fosters epidermal growth, which helps your little one’s intestines mature. 

Generally, babies fed with breast milk develop significantly lower intestinal permeability than those predominantly fed formula milk. These infants have a lower risk of infection, as they’re more protected from particles passing through their intestinal lines and invading their bloodstream. 

Offers Bonding Opportunities 

A preemie’s need for breast milk creates an amazing bonding opportunity for mother and child. Though expressing milk for your baby can be challenging at times, it’s all worth it once that special bond is built. Feeding your baby the nutrients it needs will make you feel even closer to your little one, knowing you’re their lifeline. For a new mom, nothing is more rewarding than holding your baby close and knowing that you’re keeping them safe and healthy. 

Ready to Get a Breast Pump through Insurance? 

If you want to get your hands on the perfect breast pump, Pumps for Mom has you covered! We aid new and expecting mamas in their pumping journey by getting them breast pumps through insurance. With our help, you can obtain the products you need at no cost! Head to our form or contact us today to get your breast pump through insurance and begin your feeding journey with your preemie.