Thrive Guide for Parents of Premature Babies

Module 1: Nutrition for the first six months of life (adjusted age)
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  • Lectures 53
  • Length 2 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 2/2015 English

Course Description

Do you have a premature baby less than six months old (adjusted age)? Do you want to learn how to provide the best nutrition for your preemie to help your baby thrive?

The Pebbles of Hope Thrive Guide for Parents of Premature Babies is an interactive course with expert information, parent testimonials, graphics and video to provide parents and other caregivers of premature infants with the information they need to provide their babies with the best care. This is the first module of the Thrive Guide, focusing on nutrition for the first six months (adjusted age), and covers topics such as breastfeeding, expressing breast milk and Kangaroo Care as a means to stimulate milk production.

Topics covered in this module include:

  • Challenges preemies face
  • Ways to feed your baby
  • Methods to provide breast milk for preemies, techniques to stimulate milk production and how to store milk
  • Guidance for successful breastfeeding and bottlefeeding
  • Nutrition tips for mothers providing breast milk
  • Techniques for performing Kangaroo Care

This module takes approximately 1.5 hours to complete, and additional materials, such as a lactation log, sample meal plans for lactating mothers, and a checklist for breast milk storage, are also made available for download throughout the course. Additional materials have also been provided by La Leche League USA. All content has been reviewed and approved by our expert advisory panel of neonatologists, perinatologists, neonatal nurses, pediatricians, pediatric nutritionists and occupational therapists prior to inclusion within the course.

What are the requirements?

  • No prior knowledge required

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Understand the techniques to breastfeed, provide expressed milk or provide Kangaroo Care for a premature baby
  • Make informed diet decisions for lactating mothers to improve the quality of the breast milk premature babies receive
  • Understand alternative feeding options for babies that are unable to receive breast milk from their mother
  • Locate resources for additional support with breastfeeding, expressing breast milk, providing Kangaroo Care or identifying alternative feeding options for premature babies

Who is the target audience?

  • Parents of premature babies aged 6 months (adjusted) or younger
  • Women experiencing high-risk pregnancy with high likelihood to deliver pre-term
  • Parents with babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)
  • Grandparents of premature babies aged 6 months (adjusted) or younger who will be involved in the baby's care
  • Caregivers of premature babies aged 6 months (adjusted) or younger, including home nurses, nannies and babysitters

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction to the Course

In this lecture, I’ll go over the broad topics we’ll cover in the course. I’ll also touch on how this course can help you provide the best care for your preemie and what you can expect to learn.


Here I’ll give you information about the organization that is delivering this course to you.


In this lecture, you’ll learn that even if your baby was born prematurely, there are many things you as a parent or caregiver can do to help.


This lecture explains the important disclaimer that this course does not replace professional medical advice.

Section 2: A Primer on Preemies

Here you’ll learn about the conditions that make premature babies unique and how underdevelopment may affect them.


Neonatal nurse, Mary Bubbers, explains the ways in which preemies face unique challenges and how they are different from full-term babies.


This lecture covers the effect of an underdeveloped GI Tract on preemies.


In this lecture, I’ll explain the skills babies need to develop in order to feed properly.


Here you'll learn all about adjusted age and how this measure is used to monitor your preemie's growth and development.

Show What You Know: Adjusted Age
1 question
Section 3: All about breast milk

This lecture will cover many of the important benefits of breast milk for your preemie.


This lecture explains the many reasons that breast milk is important for premature babies and why nursing or pumping is worth all the effort.


In this lecture, you’ll learn about situations in which a mother can not or should not breastfeed or express breast milk for her baby.


Here I’ll discuss options for feeding your preemie if mother’s breast milk is not available.


This lecture covers the safest way to access donated breast milk for your preemie.


We’ll go over in this lecture some of the common ways in which parents modify breast milk or formula and how that might affect your baby’s health.


Dr. Barbara Wesley, a specialist in high risk pregnancies, talks about the importance of breast milk for preemies and the steps preemie mothers can take to provide this critical nutrition for their babies.

Show What You Know: Evaluating Your Choices
7 questions

In this lecture, I’ll explain how important it is to do what’s best for your baby even if you get resistance from others.

Section 4: Nutrition for Lactating Women

Here I’ll provide an overview of why proper nutrition is so important for women who are lactating.


This lecture will provide information on foods that are recommended for lactating mothers and those they should limit or avoid.

Show What You Know: Healthy Foods for Lactation
3 questions

With this lecture, you’ll learn how to deal with situations in which you consume something harmful while lactating.


Dr. Barbara Wesley, a specialist in high risk pregnancies, talks about the substances to avoid while lactating and what to do if the mother consumes something unsafe.

Section 5: Pumping Breast Milk

This lecture will cover the three methods for expressing breast milk and the pros and cons of each.


Here you’ll learn about how and when to start pumping as well as the benefits of the first milk you provide for your baby.


Preemie mothers describe their experience with pumping to provide breast milk for their babies, and fathers discuss ways to support the mother in this process.


In this lecture, you’ll learn about the things you can do to increase or decrease your milk supply.


This lecture provides guidance on how to properly store breast milk after pumping to ensure that it is safe to feed to your baby.

3 questions

Now it’s time to show what you know about storing breast milk.

Chad is helping his wife, Jennifer, care for their daughter Emily. Emily is a preemie and not yet breastfeeding.

Chad wants to know if the breast milk Jennifer expressed and set aside is safe for Emily.


Here you’ll learn how to clean your pumping equipment to avoid contaminating your milk.


This lecture offers tips for how fathers and other caregivers can best support lactating mothers.

Section 6: Breastfeeding

Here I’ll provide some tips for transitioning from tube or bottle feeding to breastfeeding.


In this lecture, you’ll learn the steps for getting your baby to latch effectively to the breast.


This lecture covers the most popular breastfeeding holds.


This lecture offers tips for finding a successful breastfeeding routine with your preemie.


In this lecture, you’ll hear a few tips on things you can do if your preemie’s having trouble latching on.


Here you’ll learn how to manage the most common challenges women face with their breasts while breastfeeding.

4 questions

Now it’s time to show what you know about overcoming different challenges with breastfeeding.

For each of the challenges listed, indicate the correct solution.

Section 7: Bottlefeeding

This lecture explains how to feed your baby from a bottle if you are unable to breastfeed.


In this lecture, you’ll learn about the transition to bottle feeding for babies being fed through a tube in the hospital.


In this lecture, I’ll share seven steps for successful bottle feeding.


Here I’ll share a few tips on how to safely prepare formula for your preemie.


This lecture covers the steps of the paced bottle feeding method, which prevents overfeeding and mimics feeding at the breast.

Section 8: Managing Your Baby's Hunger

This lecture covers the cues that will help you determine whether your baby is hungry, full or uncomfortable.


If your baby is not gaining weight at all, or if you’re concerned about your baby’s weight, seek medical advice.

3 questions

Amina is getting frustrated. She never knows if Ahmed is hungry or not. She feeds him every three hours, and he doesn’t seem interested. She’s been alternating between bottles and breastfeeding and neither seems better than the other.

She also is worried he isn’t getting enough milk. How can Amina tell whether or not Ahmed is hungry? How does she know whether or not he is getting enough food?

For each statement, indicate whether the statement is true or false.


In this lecture, you'll learn about the signs that indicate your baby is having a problem with feeding and when to seek advice from a doctor.

Section 9: Kangaroo Care

This lecture explains what Kangaroo Care is and why it is so important for preemies.


Neonatal Nurse, Mary Bubbers, explains the benefits of Kangaroo Care and tips for parents to get the most out of Kangaroo Care.


Here I’ll explain the steps to effectively perform Kangaroo Care, including positioning, duration and tips for safety.


Preemie parents discuss their experience with providing Kangaroo Care for their babies and provide a few tips for making it easy and comfortable.

3 questions

Arinya is starting Kangaroo Care with her son, Kiet, who was born a month and a half early. What does she need to do in order to be successful? Answer True or False to each of the statements provided.


This lecture provides guidelines for determining if your baby is too hot or cold, with and without a thermometer.

Section 10: Conclusion

This lecture summarizes what you have learned in the course and where you can find additional resources for more information.


Here I’ll explain the opportunity to become a Pebbles of Hope mentor for other parents around the world that have recently had a premature baby.


Neonatal Nurse, Mary Bubbers, talks about how parents can find support while their baby is in the NICU and what questions to ask NICU staff.


Preemie parents describe how they found information and support while having a preemie in the NICU.


This lecture provides information on additional services provided by Pebbles of Hope and how you can support our efforts.


Here are the acknowledgements for the sources that provided the content for this course.

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Instructor Biography

Pebbles of Hope Foundation, non-profit organization for preemie parent education

Pebbles of Hope is a United States-based 501c3 nonprofit committed to helping premature babies around the world survive and thrive. By leveraging the power of media, technology and community to provide education, training and resources to parents, birth attendants and community health workers, we are working to give premature babies born in underserved areas an increased chance at survival and the opportunity to lead a healthy life.

Pebbles of Hope programs focus on three areas— digital training, mentoring, and mass media campaigns—with the purpose of equipping parents and caregivers with the information they need to care for the smallest babies in regions with limited medical facilities.

Our Mission
Our mission is to leverage the power of media, technology and community to help babies born prematurely in low-resource settings survive and thrive.

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