If you are a parent of a premature baby, then you definitely have a lot of things on your plate that you will have to worry about. Since premature babies usually get born without fat, for example, they don’t have any stores for energy reserves , either, nor do they have the fatty acids needed for proper visual and brain development.
Because of this, it would be highly likely for your child to have developmental problems during childhood, such as autism or ADHD. In cases that are more severe, premature infants might experience intestinal problems, as well, and they might even have to eat through an IV drop instead of through their mouths. This, in turn, could bring about liver problems and other dangerous issues.
Believe it or not, the IV feed given to premature babies was recently discovered to be a liver destroyer since it has a lot of omega-6 plant oil fatty acids in it. Although it is true that these fatty acids are completely safe when eaten, the effects that they could have can be toxic to a baby’s body when it gets in in other ways. So, since babies do not have any omega-3 fats in their bodies that can maintain the balance of fatty acids, the omega-6 fats could create more complications and cause inflammation.
This is why some hospitals have replaced these omega-6 fatty acids with omega-3 ones instead. Omega-3 fatty acids come from fish and make up the majority of the retina and brain’s structure. They are actually known to improve the babies’ livers, as well, and help them recover from any damage. And, even though the majority of babies will still need to eat intravenously for a few hours, they won’t need liver transplants in order to survive anymore.
Now, even if your baby’s life isn’t necessarily in danger, he would still be at risk for impaired mental functions and neurological problems during childhood – remember that. Also, since the brain usually won’t form until the third trimester, a premature baby won’t have enough DHA storage to make sure that his brain works properly yet.
In other words, supplementing your baby’s diet with some DHA will boost his brain functions. It will also help improve his visual acuity at the same time. In fact, a research in Texas has shown that premature infants have a much more improved visual activity after getting a formula fortified with DHA.
Yes, coming into the world early can come with its disadvantages. However, you can still do a lot to make sure your premature baby grows up healthily and normally. Just make sure you keep taking fish oil supplements while breastfeeding to ensure the best development for your baby.