Human Milk for Human Babies
- Breast milk can save a preemie's or an ill infant's life.
- Babies who receive their mother's milk are healthier.
- Breast milk is like medicine for premature babies!
- Mothers make milk specially designed for their individual baby's needs.
- Premature breast milk is different than full-term breast milk.
Benefits of Mother's Milk for Preemies
Preemies that are fed their mother's milk have:
- Better brain development
- Less life-threatening infections
- Less feeding problems
- Less allergies and eczema
- Stronger bones when they are older
- Higher IQ when they are older
- Less high blood pressure when they are older
- Your baby needs you to provide this milk!
Colostrum is the first type of breast milk you produce.
It is very important because it contains:
- Brain boosting fats
- Hormones to teach the baby's intestines to move and digest
- Growth factors to help the intestines mature and grow
- Antibodies and live cells to prevent and fight infections
- Nutritious fat, sugars, and protein to start baby growing
- 600 nutrients- no artificial formula can compare!
- Every drop is Liquid Gold for your baby!
The crucial first two weeks
- Your colostrum is packed with protective nutrients for your baby.
- You may initially get only a few drops of colostrum, but every drop is precious, so be sure to bring it to the NICU!
- We will begin to put your colostrum directly into your baby's mouth or stomach to get your baby's intestines growing.
- These first days after delivery are critical for your milk production.
- Your goal is to produce more than 500 mls (2 cups) of milk within a 24-hour period by the time your baby is two weeks old. This will help you to have enough milk when your baby gets bigger.
Prevention of NEC
- Necrotizing entercolitis (NEC) is a very dangerous newborn intestinal infection.
- 7% of the smallest preemies get NEC.
- NEC can lead to other serious complications and the baby often cannot be fed for 10-14 days. This puts them very behind on their feedings.
- The good news is that breast milk helps protect against NEC.
- You can help decrease your baby's chance of getting NEC by pumping breast milk!
Last Updated: 6/23/2011