The Benefits of Mother’s Milk for Premature Babies

It is every parent dream and hopes that their newborn is healthy and safe. A normal pregnancy should last nine months (between 37 to 42 weeks). So, any baby before the normal 37 weeks is automatically considered premature. Premature Babies often face some challenges that full-time babies do escape; an example is a possibility of being born with organs that are underdeveloped. Some premature babies grow up to have respiratory problems, (as the last organ to develop entirely during gestation is the lungs).

Many researchers and studies have proven the importance and benefits of breastfeeding. Some of these studies also confirmed that babies that are breastfeeding or fed their mother’s breast milk are quick to be developed mentally better than the ones that are not. Many premature babies are fed infant formula instead of being fed routinely with their mother’s milk. However, a recent study now shows the importance of why it should be done and urges that premature babies should be fed with their mother’s milk when at all possible.

Why Mother’s Milk

Mother’s milk is like a survival kit for babies, especially the preemies. One thing you should know is that your body is making milk specifically for premature baby (if they are born prematurely). Research shows that pre-term milk is higher in:

• Calories

• Fats

• White blood cells

• Proteins

• Calcium

• Zinc

• Immunoglobulins

• Phosphorus

These nutrients are exactly what your baby needs more!

Boosts Brain Growth

As said earlier, breast milk plays a vital role in preemies brain growth. A study conducted using Elizabeth O’Hara, mother to Kassidy born at 28 weeks by the American Academy of Pediatrics proves that breast milk can speed up the brain-stem growth in premature infants. The mother said, “I pumped for my daughter because I felt she was at a disadvantage having been born so early, and breast milk contains all the nutrients needed for optimum brain development.”

Offers Protection

Breast milk also offers preemies protection from illness. Larger percentages of babies born prematurely are not born with enough immunoglobulins that will help them fight against infections. Breast milk is the only way a preemie can receive immunoglobulins (so why not give them?). Additionally, human milk also provides preemies with antibodies that help fight the disease.

In short words, breast milk is custom tailored to help the baby meet is immediate needs. Researchers also prove that babies who suckle at the breast have lower stress amount; which in turn will help them reduce being prone to physical ailments. Premature babies that are fed with their mother’s breast milk also have higher chances of leaving the incubator sooner than the ones fed with infant formula.

Breast milk is a wonderful, as it constituency changes more often and is an organic and intelligent food; it always changes through the months and years of a child’s life. It is by far the best way for a mother to protect her child and not just nourishment only. Until recently, breastfeeding was often overlooked with premature babies. Not only can it significantly increase the development of the child, but it can also even make the difference between life and death.



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