Every new parent wants to make sure their baby is healthy and growing well. The baby’s immunity should be a priority, as it keeps him safe from infections, colds, diarrhea and allergies, which are the main causes of illness in the early years.
Dr S Giridhar, Consultant Neonatologist and Pediatrician, Motherhood Hospitals, Chennai, says that naturally boosting a child’s immune system will help bond and is considered safe when done properly. “These are also essential considerations when traveling with a premature baby. These natural remedies can keep them fit and healthy.
According to the doctor, there are many natural ways for parents to improve their child’s immunity from the comfort of their own home; read on.
* Breastmilk: The breast milk of mothers giving birth to premature babies contains more protein, fat and sodium salt, which corresponds to the nutritional requirements of the premature infant. In addition, bioactive substances in milk such as antibodies and living cells help fight disease. This improves the baby’s immunity and also helps protect him from devastating bowel disease.
* Probiotics: Probiotics are living organisms that confer health benefits on the baby. The intestine of the premature baby is often compromised and the protective bacterial flora is impaired, resulting in “dysbiosis”. This leads to intestinal damage and makes the child prone to allergies later in life. Giving probiotics to premature babies restores the good bacteria.
* Essential oils: Babies typically receive a variety of medications and tests while in the NICU. Using oils to promote skin integrity could help protect against infections that enter through the skin.
The proven oils that can be used are coconut oil and sunflower oil. Gentle oil massages help the skin to heal and have calming effects. Oil massages can also improve the weight of premature babies. Every evening after bathing, give the little one a massage, which can also help you bond with the child. If you don’t have time for a deep massage but want to test essential oils, rub a small amount on the soles of baby’s feet.
* Food supplements: One of the most important ways to keep premature babies healthy is to provide them with nutritious meals. The premature baby is fed exclusively on milk during the first 6 months of his life. But at 6 months, food supplements are generally started in addition to continuing milk feeds. Good sources of vitamin C include breast milk and foods high in vitamin C like oranges and strawberries.
While traveling it can be difficult, but bringing a food cooler has always been helpful. So many baby foods contain processed wheat and sugar, both of which destroy immunity. Learn more about dietary immune boosters and how to balance them.
The role of prebiotics in the development of childhood immunity
Dr Giridhar says that prebiotics are complex sugars, which provide fuel for the growth of probiotics. Prebiotics are the third component of breast milk after lactose and fat and are also obtained from dietary fiber in weaning foods. “The perceived benefits of prebiotics include the growth of healthy gut flora, the fight against pathogenic microorganisms, and stool softening.”
Some health benefits of prebiotics for infants:
– Reduces diarrhea
– Reduces constipation
– Reduces the incidence of colds and fever
– Reduces allergic diseases
– Promotes regular and smoother bowel movements
– Reduces the use of antibiotics
– Reduces infantile colic
– Improves intestinal health
“As premature parents, you want the best for your child, but you should take the pediatrician’s advice and talk to him / her before you start. Some of these suggestions encourage you to travel with your premature baby or at the very least to go to the grocery store, ”concludes the doctor.
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