How To Care For Yourself And Your Premature Baby As They Grow
Published | 5 min read
Caring for a premature baby while you are trying to recover from labor is a challenging task. These remedies can support your baby's health and give you strength and energy for proper recovery.
This may require additional time in the hospital, surgery, or medications. For new moms, taking care of a premature baby while also recovering from childbirth can be a difficult process.
What Is A Premature Baby?
A premature baby is one who was born
When a baby is born, they are classified as:
- Premature (less than 37 weeks)
- Full term (37 to 42 weeks)
- Post term (born after 42 weeks)
Pre-term labor may occur due to complications with the mother, such as diabetes, a weak cervix, heart disease,
According to TCM Physician Anita Pee, “In TCM literature, there is no direct reference to premature babies but there are similar descriptions of babies that are born with lower body weight or weak body constitution.”
These babies are prone to have deficiencies in the five organs that can lead to other health issues. For example:
- Liver Qi Deficiency may result in poor eyesight or muscle spasms
- Heart Qi Deficiency may result in pale complexion or cold limbs due poor circulation
- Spleen Qi Deficiency may result in weak sucking and weak muscles and poor digestion
- Lung Qi Deficiency may result in recurrent respiratory problems and skin infections
- Kidney Qi Deficiency may result in slow-growing teeth and sparse hair growth
Supporting Your Premature Baby As They Grow
Many premature babies will need to be kept in an incubator for the first few weeks of life as they lack body fat and immune cells that keep them warm and healthy.
When it’s time to bring your little one home, your premature baby may still require special care to ensure they grow and develop properly.
“In TCM, the
“The Spleen is another important organ that is often insufficient in premature babies, causing poor digestion and weak ability to absorb nutrients from feedings, which also contributes to poor growth and development. Hence, it is important to support Kidney and Spleen health in premature babies to help them grow better,” continued Physician Pee.
These therapies can help:
Common TCM herbs to boost Spleen health and improve digestion and appetite in babies include:
- Codonopsis (
- Largehead Atractylodes Rhizome (
Bai Zhu) Poria ( Fu Ling )
- Medicated Leaven (
- Barley Sprout (Malt) (
Common herbal formulas include
Pediatric tuina is a safe, non-invasive method of TCM treatment to treat and prevent minor childhood ailments and promote better growth. For premature babies, the following
- Bu Pi Jing (strengthening the Spleen meridian): This helps to strengthen Spleen health and improve digestion.
Si Heng Wen(stroking the four horizontal crease): This helps to promote digestion, reduce food stagnation and relieve bloating.
Shen Shu(massaging the Kidney point): This helps to strengthen Kidney health and boost growth and development.
- Nie Ji (spine pinching): This helps to boost immunity and benefits all the organ systems in the body.
Safety Precautions To Take With A Premature Baby
“Within the first 6 months of birth, it is not recommended to give TCM herbs to premature babies as their organ systems are weak and may not be able to tolerate herbal remedies. Pediatric tuina is also better suited for babies above 6 months old when their bodies are stronger. Do consult a TCM physician for professional advice on suitable TCM treatments for your premature baby,” stated Physician Pee.
Postnatal Care Tips For Moms Of A Premature Baby
Generally, there is no difference between mothers of premature babies and mothers of full-term babies in terms of health issues after delivery. Childbirth is a tedious process that, coupled with blood loss, can cause mothers to feel lethargic, look pale, perspire excessively, and have poor appetite. It can also be difficult to keep up with the demands of breastfeeding.
“From a TCM point of view, the Spleen and Stomach are responsible for transforming food into nutrients, which are sources of qi and blood as well as breastmilk. It is important to strengthen the Spleen and Stomach by consuming tonics such as Huang Qi, Dang Shen and Chinese yam cooked with chicken. Other tonics, such as red dates and wolfberries, can be consumed to help replenish blood and aid in recovery after delivery,” recommended Physician Pee.
Postnatal mothers can also enjoy an herbal bath to help soothe stress, promote circulation, and support Stomach health. Additionally, adding bird’s nest to your diet can help support recovery. It’s high in antioxidants to support immunity and amino acids to rebuild tissues and cells.
- Mount Sinai. Preterm Infant.
- Brain and Behavior. 2020. The effects of dietary edible bird nest supplementation on learning and memory functions of multigenerational mice.
- Nature Reviews: Nephrology. 2019. Pre-eclampsia: pathogenesis, novel diagnostics and therapies.
Share this article on
Was This Article Useful to You?
Want more healthy tips?
Get All Things Health in your mailbox today!