PRE­MA­TURE BA­BIES NEED LESS STIM­U­LA­TION

Your Pregnancy - - Pregnancy Files -

If your baby was born early, his brain is even less pre­pared for the ex­pe­ri­ences he is be­ing ex­posed to once he is born. Pre­ma­ture ba­bies can’t reg­u­late their level of con­scious­ness well at all as their brains are im­ma­ture. Their sen­sory sys­tems are also not fully de­vel­oped. “All the phys­i­cal struc­tures are there, but they aren’t work­ing prop­erly yet,” ex­plains Welma. “There­fore, pre­ma­ture ba­bies can eas­ily be­come over­stim­u­lated by the ev­ery­day en­vi­ron­ment. An an­i­mated con­ver­sa­tion can lead to au­di­tory over­load and bright light can hurt lit­tle eyes. Smells can cause neg­a­tive re­ac­tions for in­stance when a baby is ex­posed to sharp per­fume. But, your nat­u­ral smell can have a calm­ing ef­fect. “The calm­ing sounds of the womb can be recre­ated for your baby to ex­pe­ri­ence when you spend skin-toskin time to­gether and he hears your heart­beat,” says Welma. The con­di­tions in which a pre­ma­ture baby’s brain de­velop should be sim­i­lar to the con­di­tions in the womb. Keep stim­u­la­tion min­i­mal un­til your baby be­gins to in­di­cate that he is ready for more.

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