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The benefits of skin-to-skin contact with mom and baby on feeding your 35-38 weeker

Updated: Aug 25, 2020

Kim’s new baby is HERE! She decided to join us a month early! Maeve is 5lbs, 13oz of PERFECTION and Kim is as healthy, joyful, & exhausted as you’d expect.

Born at 36 weeks picture

Both mama and baby are doing well but we would be lying if we said these days are super easy on Kim. As we noted in our previous post, early term and late preterm babies are often super sleepy and teaching your 36 week premature baby to eat can be a little challenging! They can have trouble waking up for feeds, they may show inconsistent feeding cues, 36 weekers often fall asleep shortly after starting the feeding, they can go from sleeping to screaming and inconsolable in no time, 35-38 weekers tend to have small mouths which can make it hard to get a good latch which can lead to poor weight gain or bloody painful nipples for mom or even lead to low milk supply. Parents of early term or late preterm infants often have to work even harder in those first few weeks in general and especially with feeding compared to full term 39-41 weekers.

Getting your 36 weeker breastfeeding

Helping your new 35-38 week baby learn to eat may be challenging but it’s not impossible and there are some techniques, interventions, and strategies you can use to help. One very simple yet highly effective intervention that all new moms should be using to help their 34, 35, 36, 37, and 38 weeker learn to eat is skin-to-skin holding.

Not only is this intervention super valuable for helping your baby learn to eat, it’s also one of the most effective calming / temperature regulating / pain management interventions available for newborns.

Skin-to-skin holding or kangaroo care with a 36 week baby