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Mental Development of Preterm Babies

Nov 13, 2007
Low weight preterm babies who receive breast milk immediately after birth while in the intensive care unit have higher scores of mental development at 30 months as compared to other babies who were not breast fed. These findings suggest that whenever possible preterm infants who are in the intensive care units should be fed with breast milk. Infants who are underweight at the time of birth are really small and most delicate category of premature babies who weigh less than 1000 grams.

Till now, experts have found that breast feeding is extremely essential for full-grown babies, but its benefits for premature children haven't been researched efficiently. Full term babies breast fed were less prone to development stomach or respiratory infections and were at a lesser chance of being obese ahead. Children who had been breast fed received better points as per the mental development index.

Content

As premature babies cannot have milk themselves, intravenously fluids and other nutrients are to be given. Slowly through a feeding tube, one can drip the mother's feed. Once the babies are strong, intravenous supplies through the tube can be taken off. Research shows that infants who were breast fed were out of the neonatal intensive care units sooner. They were ready to take food through the feeding tube faster. This concludes the fact that breast milk had a positive effect on the infant's mental development Parental interactions with the infant is another important factor which can help develop mental faculties in a baby.

Research show that a story or a song heard daily by the mother when pregnant can be recognized by the baby with its familiar words and sounds after birth. He is also able to recognize certain familiar voices as the mother's and father's voice especially if the parents have made it a point to communicate with the baby while in the womb.

Conclusion

Generally preterm infants are at a greater risk of prenatal damage to the central nervous system that can result in intellectual and neurological disabilities. Mental retardation in childhood due to the damage to the central nervous system at birth is mostly followed by developmental delays in infancy however if the preterm baby survives without any damage to its body and is breast fed regularly the baby will soon catch up with a full term baby in body and weight and will not have any specific mental complications.

It is important that the pregnant mother who delivered the preterm baby had been following a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet while the baby was in the stomach so that the baby could recover faster and prevent the baby getting any infections that could damage its mental faculties in any way. The baby should have been delivered after the second term of pregnancy when all its organs were completely developed besides the baby and the mother need to be otherwise healthy in order to survive without any complications.
About the Author
Stephen C Campbell (Master NLP Practitioner) has published more information on Developing Memory and mastering your life at
http://www.memorydevelopmentmastery.com
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