Educational Resources 

What about going home?

Doctors and hospitals have various guidelines and criteria they follow to determine when a premature baby is ready to be released from the hospital. Some have a set weight the baby must attain before being released; others may release babies who are much smaller if baby’s physical condition is satisfactory. The baby needs to be able to suck and swallow well, have no indication of illness or complications and have no respiratory problems. Also taken into consideration are the parents’ ability and willingness to take on baby’s care at home. Parents may feel overwhelmed and somewhat fearful at the prospect of being “on their own” after receiving constant help and support from medical personnel.

Feeding is often a major concern when baby is taken home and no one is there measuring and weighing food and the baby at each feeding. Spending an entire day or two with the baby prior to his discharge, feeding him on cue as she would expect to do at home, will help the mother to be more confident about the change.

After discharge, the doctor will probably want to see the baby regularly to check his weight gain and growth as well as his general health. Parents also need to know that the doctor is available when they have concerns. They can discuss that with him before baby is discharged.

Every mother deserves the joy of a breastfeeding relationship and the fulfillment of watching her baby grow and thrive on her breast milk. For the mother of the premature baby, it is a reward that is doubly rich.


This educational material is provided courtesy of Ameda Egnell.  Permission to use and/or reproduce this copyrighted material has been granted by the distributor, Hollister Incorporated.