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Health Tip: Getting to Know Your Premature Baby

What you can do to help

(HealthDay News) -- When babies are born prematurely -- before 37 weeks of gestation -- they may require special care, often in a hospital's neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

These babies may need help in keeping their bodies warm and breathing.

Even in an NICU, there are things parents can do to help care for their premature baby. Here are suggestions from the American Pregnancy Association:

  • Gently touch or stroke your baby as much as possible.
  • Talk, read or sing to your baby so he or she can learn the comforting sound of your voice.
  • Help give him or her a sponge bath.
  • Help nurses and staff with activities like changing his or her diaper.
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