The arrival of a new baby is often surrounded with excitement, joy and the idea of taking home a chubby little rosy-cheeked newborn. But for some parents, that isn't the case. Sometimes, these little humans are brought into the world much earlier than expected, either with or without warning. The needs of premature babies often strongly relate to just how early their arrival is, and some babies will need a stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Many of the more common issues surrounding premature babies centre around feeding and their inability or difficulty to latch on during breastfeeding (or even bottle feeding), which can be stressful when these babies require more nutrients and more frequent feeds than those born full term.
Haakaa has several products that some parents of preemies may find useful in tackling the more minor, common issues faced, such as latching problems, low milk supply, or little ones that need extra nourishment or help with feeding. Before we delve in, if your baby has feeding or latching issues, it's essential to discuss this with your family's healthcare provider or your LMC, especially if you have any questions or concerns about whether a specific product is right for you!
Colostrum is the first milk produced near the end of your pregnancy and can be collected at around 37 weeks with medical clearance. The benefit of collecting colostrum before birth means that you have a supply ready to go if your baby needs it once they are born. For example, some babies require extra nutritional support, others aren't able to latch right away, or sometimes, Mum needs additional support after birth and can't breastfeed immediately. Whatever the reason, having a "stash" already collected can relieve some of the stress, should your little one need it fast.
Colostrum is traditionally collected in single-use syringes, often made from harmful plastics, and tricky to use one-handed, which, when trying to express colostrum for the first time, can be really difficult! Haakaa's Silicone Colostrum Collector is made of 100% medical-grade silicone, is easy to hold in one hand, and can be safely stored in the fridge or freezer. It comes in a range of sizes and can be used in two ways - either suction colostrum straight off your nipple with the nib or remove the container top completely and express straight into the collector body.
A Supplemental Nursing System (SNS) is a device for those experiencing breastfeeding issues to help feed their little ones when they encounter problems like latching difficulties, low milk supply or require extra nutrition, etc. Our SNS also allows non-lactating parents to bond with their babies by experiencing simulated breastfeeding and the skin-to-skin contact that comes with it. Haakaa's Silicone Feeding Tube Set delivers milk directly to your baby at the breast by connecting a bottle of supplemented milk to a soft, thin, flexible tube, with the outlet end taped to your nipple. As your baby feeds at your breast, the supplemented milk flows through the tube into their mouth, meaning they will receive any milk you produce alongside the supplemented milk - all while the system helps to replicate a natural breastfeeding experience for you both. Not only does this provide your little one with the extra nutrition they might need, but it can also encourage your breast milk production as your baby sucks!
Traditional syringes are made of hard plastic, which can be fiddly to use and rough on your little one's soft, delicate mouth. Haakaa's Oral Feeding Syringe is a handy little essential that makes giving your baby liquid medication, milk, or supplemented liquid diets much easier! The dual-angled ports on either side of the syringe's nipple mean that liquid is dispensed in their cheeks rather than straight to the back of the throat – greatly reducing the risk of them choking and spluttering! The super soft silicone nipple is gentle on your baby's mouth and gives your baby something to suck on while they feed. It should be noted that this syringe measures liquid in 5ml increments, so it may not be suitable for smaller doses.
As we mentioned earlier, it's important to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your healthcare provider before investing in certain products. This blog is general advice only and does not replace the need for medical advice.