It is possible to carry premature babies in a swaddle, clearly after consulting the doctor.
Gestational age must be taken into consideration, as critical issues and characteristics vary considerably depending on the degree of prematurity.
Degree of prematurity:
Birth before 37 weeks of gestation is considered premature. Premature newborns are further classified as:
- Extremely preterm < 28 weeks
- Very preterm 28 to 31 6/7 weeks
- Moderately preterm 32 to 33 6/7 weeks
- Late preterm: 34 to < 36 weeks and 6/7 days
Kangaroo Mother Care, now practiced in many Italian hospitals, it involves prolonged skin-to-skin contact between parent and premature baby thanks to the use of swaddling bands. It is considered by doctors and scholars to be a beneficial way to promote bonding, i.e. mother-baby attachment, which can be more delicate for premature babies; promotes breastfeeding and allows for quicker discharge from hospital.
From the reception booklet in Moncalieri, one of the NICU departments that were the first in Italy to adopt this method, we read: "The deep mother-baby contact that characterizes the gestation period is abruptly interrupted at the moment of birth. The little one, suddenly ousted from his warm and safe refuge, needs to rediscover that intimate and reassuring relationship, that enveloping warmth, that soft contact, that quiet environment with muffled sounds that were familiar to him until recently.
It is therefore necessary to promote the most suitable conditions so that the mother and the baby find themselves in skin-to-skin contact and resume, in a welcoming and intimate environment, the dialogue interrupted with childbirth. In the first hours of life it is through the mother that the child forms his first relationships with the outside world; and it is in the certainty of the rediscovered maternal relationship that the foundations for firmly building relationships with the surrounding world are founded" .
By offering the contact of her skin to the newborn's body, a mother instills warmth, tenderness and well-being in him. It is a method which, in addition to improving physical development, "positively influences the neurological and psychological development of the child"27.
In the face of those who claim that a child kept close for a long time becomes spoiled...
It is quite the opposite: a child who is reassured and embraced, in addition to the clinical benefits that this entails, has satisfied a primary need: the need for love, which in turn makes him feel good and improves his physical conditions. When the mother returns home, if she wishes, she can still experience positive results by continuing to carry her baby skin-to-skin in everyday life with the help of a sling.
What type of band for premature babies?
Beyond to be produced with materials and certified dyes (but this is valid for all types of baby carriers, even for full-term babies), it is important that they are very soft, to avoid abrasions to the baby's delicate skin.
Attentive to these aspects since our inception (in 2006!), we at Mhug have designed a special band for premature babies, used in NICU departments, with the same delicate material that we have always used for our historic Bamboo Wrap sling, suitable for newborns and premature babies*
San Raffaele Hospital, Milan
Moncalieri Hospital, Turin
"Let yourself be embraced", Licia Negri, ed. Trevisini
*after hearing the favorable opinion of the pediatrician