Benefits of breast milk for premature babies
On many occasions, mothers who have given birth to premature babies have not had the possibility of maintaining such close contact with their baby because of the clinic's prohibitions due to the health condition of the child who has to stay hospitalized until he reaches the appropriate weight. and be able to take it home healthy.
Formerly it was much more difficult for mothers to impose their rights and approach their babies to take care of themselves, pick them up or even breastfeed them, however, years and subsequent research have corroborated the importance of having these babies close to their parents, to maintain a contact and how not to feed them naturally.
Today thanks to Kangaroo Mother Method In many hospitals, parents can access their babies a few hours a day to continue with their development and provide them with the breast milk that any term baby has at their disposal.
That's why premature babies can feed themselves with breast milk, being the best source of food especially for them that still have to develop even in an incubator.
What is the Kangaroo Mother Method?
It is a method consisting of the skin contact with skin between the mother and her baby, placing it on his chest so that the child begins to recognize the voice of his mother, listen to his heart, the warmth of his skin, and thus facilitate the experiences outside the mother's womb.
Among its recognized benefits, this method favors and reinforces the affective bonds between the mother and the baby, providing greater benefits for the premature baby, given that the mothers They can take care of them sooner than expected. It has even been shown to decrease the time spent in the hospital.
What are the benefits of breast milk for preterm infants?
As we all know, breast milk contains all the essential nutrients for the life of the baby who has just been born in the best conditions, that is, at term, how is it not going to be beneficial for the premature baby? There are many reasons why feeding the premature baby with breast milk is the best option.
Here are the advantages and benefits of breast milk for the premature baby:
The breast milk of mothers who have had premature babies is perfectly adapted to the health conditions of the child because of its immunological properties, the amount of enzymes and growth hormones, containing more fats, helping ocular and neurological development.
Mothers who practice Kangaroo mother method with their babies and feeding them with breast milk are less likely to suffer nosocomial infections that are typical of the hospital environment.
Maternal feeding decreases the risk and severity of Necrotising enterocolitis, a serious disease of the digestive tract that affects mainly premature babies.
There is less evidence of infectious diseases due to the amount of defenses, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory factors: IgAs, lactoferrin, lysosim, growth factors, antioxidant agents, anti-inflammatory cytokines, nucleotides and cellular elements.
Regarding growth, breast milk favors growth after birth, of newborns who had suffered fetal growth retardation.
The pattern of suction / swallowing / breathing and the flow of milk is better when breastfeeding than in the bottle, the level of oxygenation and temperature are better and more stable and babies make less apneas and bradycardia (when the heart rate slows down).
And of course, advantages and benefits for the mother since feeding her little one with her mother's milk gives her security and confidence, and as no control over the life and feeding of her child for the future.
- Breast Milk Lipidome Is Associated with Early Growth Trajectory in Preterm Infants. Nutrients 2018 Feb; 10 (2): 164. doi: 10.3390 / nu10020164. Available at: //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5852740/
- Human Milk: An Ideal Food for Nutrition of Preterm Newborn. Front Pediatr. 2018; 6: 295. doi: 10.3389 / fped.2018.00295. Available at: //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6198081/
- Mark A. Underwood. Human milk for the premature infant Pediatr Clin North Am. Doi: 10.1016 / j.pcl.2012.09.008. Available at: //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3508468/