Preemies And Their Weight
Gaining or losing weight
It is normal for your baby to lose weight just after he is born, whether he has spent a full term in the uterus or born a preemie. There are two reasons for this. First, your baby is getting rid of the extra water and salt in his system and secondly, more mature premature babies being breast fed will for the first few days be receiving colostrum, or pre-milk.
Even when your baby begins to gain weight, he may not put it on steadily at first. Premature babies need more calories because everything is more of an effort for them, and they may be taking in less food than they need.
Premature babies have tiny stomachs and can only take a little nourishment at a time. Continuous feedings and monitoring will help in the process of gaining weight.
Your Baby's Weight and Growth Gain
Your baby's growth is affected by many different things. These include how well he is, how much he weighed when he was born, how early he was born and whether he needed special care in the neonatal intensive care unit.
The "ideal" weight gain for a newborn baby is about 1 ounce (28g) a day, but a premature baby may not grow this much, especially if he has a condition affecting weight gain.
Monitoring Your Preemies Weight After Coming Home
Preemie growth charts will help you keep track of your preemie's development. Ask your pediatrician for information on how to obtain this chart.
Preemie growth charts may be divided into different categories, including pounds and ounces, length in inches, centimeters and millimeters, grams and gestational age.
Consider purchasing a chart that includes blank pages, so that you can fill in your baby's weight and measurements. Once a pattern of weight gain is formed, you will be able to share this with your baby's pediatrician along with other concerns you may have.
Also, investing in a digital scale can relieve the anxiety you may have about your preemie's weight gain. Every ounce makes a difference.
When will my preemie catch up in height and weight?
There is no exact time as to when a preemie will catch up with a full term baby. Most preemies catch up in height and weight within the first year of life. A small number of preemies never fully catch up to where they would have been if born full-term and remain slightly smaller than average babies throughout their lives.
Talk with your pediatrician or neonatologist about the sort of weight gain they feel is enough for you baby. Keep in mind that just because babies are small doesn't mean they are not healthy and thriving appropriately.
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