Scares and Their Credibility
There is no small amount of health scares that persist in this day and age – as adults we see them ourselves in cases of epidemics and “epidemics”, some of which are credible and some which are, to be charitable, less than helpful. In the case of babies’ health, there is no less controversy, and there have been more than a few scares that have been shown to be unfounded.
This has the highly unfortunate and undesirable effect of making people naturally skeptical, which can cause harmful indecision in times of genuine illness. Pediatricians are understanding and well-trained, so if you have a cause for concern it is worth taking it up with them.
One example of scaremongering having a negative effect is one that happened in Britain when a medical paper written collaboratively by several doctors included a single line that raised the possibility that the MMR vaccination that had been in circulation for quite some time may be linked to autism in children. Although this line was written by one doctor, who had not even definitively claimed that the link was real and provable, the national press picked up on it and made it into a huge story.
Although the other doctors involved in the study distanced themselves from the claim and it emerged that no evidence existed for any such link, the press had their story, and many parents were understandably reluctant to have their child immunized with the vaccine. When it comes down to it, getting medical advice from the media is not advisable.
Feeding a Premature Baby
When it comes to dealing with a premature baby, the rules change somewhat from the typical ones for dealing with a baby where everything has happened more or less on schedule. Sometimes you will find that, due to their reduced size and strength, your baby has less of an appetite if it has been born prematurely. In order to mitigate this, you may need to pay more attention and encourage him or her to feed. Even though their natural desire to feed may be reduced as compared with a stronger baby, they will still need to feed in order to gain some of the strength that they lack.
A newborn, fully healthy baby will want to feed between eight and twelve times a day. They will automatically wake up in order to do this. A premature baby may prefer naturally to sleep, as they will tire easier due to their lack of strength. This may mean that you need to wake your baby and persuade him or her to feed. After a time this will become a more natural process as they gain in strength and consequently in appetite.
While you are waiting for this to happen, it may be necessary to wake without “fully waking” – an alarm clock set to a gentle chime will mean 30that you can wake, feed, and go back to sleep, which is much better for your own health. By keeping your baby in the same room as you, you can simplify this matter a great deal.