Prem baby

by Moe
(Gauteng South Africa)

How much formula can I mix for a 1.6kg baby that is now 3 weeks old

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May 26, 2018
Premature baby's milk intake depends upon a lot of factors.
by: Tahira

That depends upon some factors like how premature your baby was and your preemie's formula brand (or whether you are using expressed breast milk), Moe.

If you can express your breastmilk and give it to your preemie, that would be the most amazing option, as nature produces special milk in moms when they pop out preemies. However, for additional vitamins and more nutrients, your doctor may ask you to supplement formula milk with your breastfeed (breastfeed will be done through a bottle in early weeks as the babies are too tiny to latch on). In case you are only formula feeding, that's cool too : )

At the time of discharge from the hospital, did you ask the doctor about what amount of formula they were giving to your baby? Normally hospitals don't discharge preemies until they are 2 kg or more. Preemies need to be fed as often as 3 hours, because they need constant energy. Having said that, they are prone to more digestive issues than a full-term baby. So the best practice will be to check the package of that specific company whose premature formula milk you are using and confirm from your doctor. A good practice is to "check your baby's stool" to see if s/he is having enough food and hydration (from milk intake). After each feeding, babies should seem satisfied. They should have up to 6 to 8 stools and at least 6 to 8 wet diapers everyday. Watery or bloody stools or constant vomiting may be linked to some sort of issue.

Premature babies do not leave the hospital until they are gaining weight steadily and are in an open crib instead of an incubator. Some hospitals have a rule on how much the baby must weigh before going home, but this is becoming less common. In general, babies are at least 2 kilograms before they are ready to come out of the incubator. So please check with the doctor and hospital again if it is a good idea to discharge a preemie this early (as you said you have a 3 weeks old who is 1.6 kg).

In general, a baby should gain about 30 grams each day for every half (1/2) kilogram he or she weighs. (This is equal to 15 grams per kilogram per day. It is the average rate at which a fetus grows during the 3rd trimester).

So to sum this all up Moe, how much formula can you give your baby depends upon the fact that your baby is satisfied after the feed, diaper usage (remember 6-8 stools and wet diapers), weight gain (as mentioned above) and most important of all, the doctor's recommendation (your preemie could have been an earlier bird and may have some serious development to catch). In any event, please ask your hospital if it is a good idea to discharge him/her this early.
Thank you Moe for writing to

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