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Woman breastfeeding a premature baby

Woman breastfeeding a premature baby

M820/0362

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Credit

BSIP ASTIER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP ASTIER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Premature baby breastfeeding. View of a woman breastfeeding a premature baby in a hospital special baby unit. Premature babies are born with poor sucking and swallowing reflexes, and must be trained to suckle. Before they can be breast-fed they have to be fed through a nasogastric tube, which passes food into their stomach through their nose. Premature babies are those born before 37 weeks of gestation have elapsed. They have wrinkly features, downy hair called lanugo and irregular breathing. Premature babies are normally kept in hospital until they weigh 2.25 kg and are feeding well. Most have developed to the same level as their normal counterparts within a year.

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