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Premature babies are less stressed by breastfeeding than by bottle feeding. A baby as small as 1200 grams and even smaller, can start at the breast as soon as he is stable, though he/she may not latch on for several weeks. Actually, weight or gestational age do not matter as much as the baby's readiness to suck, as determined by making sucking movements. There is no more reason to give bottles to premature babies than to full term babies. When supplementation is truly required, there are ways to supplement without using artificial nipples.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|