Great importance should be given to premature babies’ nutritional needs. The right amount of nutrition for growth should be calculated. In addition nutrition should be repeated every 3 hours.
Sucking , swallowing, breathing coordinated reflex develops after 35 weeks of gestation . Before 35 weeks of gestation premature babies need gavage feeding. Gavage feeding is a way to provide breastmilk or formula directly to your baby’s stomach. A tube placed through your baby’s nose/mouth (called a Nasogastric or NG tube) carries breast milk/formula to the stomach.
Why does my baby need gavage feeding?
Gavage feedings are for babies who cannot get enough nutrition by bottle or breast feedings alone. Gavage feedings may supply all your child’s nutrition needs or be used to supplement bottle or breast feedings.
Gavage feedings may be used for:
- Babies who are premature and too small or weak to suck enough from the breast or bottle.
- Babies who have a problem coordinating their suck and swallow.
- Babies who have a problem with their throat, esophagus, or bowel.
- Babies, who may have lung and heart problems, are breathing too hard or too fast to be able to suck and swallow.