8.3.4  Show mothers how to cup feed the baby

A woman is feeding a tiny baby from a cup.
Figure 8.3  Cup feeding a tiny baby takes care and patience.

Show the mother and other family members how to hold the baby closely sitting a little upright. Hold a small very clean cup half-filled with expressed breast milk to the baby’s lower lip (Figure 8.3). When the baby becomes awake and opens its mouth, keep the cup at the baby’s lips letting the baby take the milk slowly. Give the baby time to swallow and rest between sips. When the baby takes enough and refuses any more, put the baby up to the shoulder and ‘burp’ her or him by rubbing the baby’s back to expel air that may have been swallowed with the milk.

  • What are the special tips and skills about breastfeeding that you may need to explain or teach the mother of a preterm baby?

  • You should tell her about the importance of always using her own breast milk to feed the baby; putting a few drops of milk onto the baby’s lip to encourage it to start suckling; how to express her breast milk and store it safely; and how to cup feed the baby.

8.3.3  Expressing breast milk

8.4  Special care to keep preterm and low birth weight babies warm