How can I protect my preterm baby from germs?

Shakira Henderson
Neonatal Nursing
Good hand hygiene is the fundamental practice to protect you and your baby. You may also want to consider vaccination as recommended by your pediatrician for your family and baby. 
A baby that is born a few weeks before it is due -- between 34 and 37 weeks of pregnancy -- is called a late preterm baby (or sometimes a near-term baby) because it was born in the “prematurity” stage but late during that period.

All newborns are vulnerable to germs. To protect your near-term baby, follow these guidelines:
  • Make everyone wash their hands before they come near your baby.
  • If someone is ill -- even if it’s just a cold -- don’t allow him near your baby. Say, “I’m sorry, but our doctor told us to be extra careful. Get well soon so you can come and see her!”
  • If you are ill, wash your hands even more often. But continue to breastfeed! Breast milk is your baby’s best protection against illness.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.