Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

What’s best for very low birth weight babies

Date:
August 16, 2012
Source:
BioMed Central Limited
Summary:
While the health benefits of breast feeding baby are well known, a new study finds that, for very low birth weight (VLBW) babies, a small amount of fortification can improve growth rates without sacrificing the benefits associated with mother’s milk. Human milk provides babies with exactly the right nutrients for growth and also helps protect against infections and diseases. Breast fed babies are less likely to have diarrhea or vomiting, they have fewer chest and ear infections, and long term are less likely to become obese or develop eczema. However, in hospitals human milk is also associated with slower growth in the first few months of life compared to formula-fed infants.

While the health benefits of breast feeding baby are well known, a new study published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Pediatrics finds that, for very low birth weight (VLBW) babies, a small amount of fortification can improve growth rates without sacrificing the benefits associated with mother's milk.

Human milk provides babies with exactly the right nutrients for growth and also helps protect against infections and diseases. Breast fed babies are less likely to have diarrhea or vomiting, they have fewer chest and ear infections, and long term are less likely to become obese or develop eczema. However, in hospitals human milk is also associated with slower growth in the first few months of life compared to formula-fed infants.

Researchers from the University of Iowa looked at records of births between 2003 and 2005 in order to compare birth weights, diet, and weight when the baby was discharged from hospital. The majority of VLBW infants (less than 1250g), although small, were the appropriate size for their gestational age (an average of 27 weeks), and stayed in hospital for two to three months after birth. Babies were fed either mother's milk, donor (pasteurized human) milk, or formula, all of which were supplemented as required to improve protein levels and total calories.

The results showed that, while the growth of all the babies was within normal limits, the babies fed more than 75% human milk grew more slowly than babies fed with less than 75% human milk. This difference in growth was even more pronounced for babies fed on donor, rather than mother's, milk.

Dr Tarah Colaizy, who led this study, explained, "Human milk offers many benefits for VLBW infants, and should of course be the default diet for all such infants. However our babies on average became smaller for gestational age between birth and discharge from hospital. We recommend that special attention is given to ensure that the amount protein and calories consumed is necessary to provide the benefits of a human milk diet without sacrificing growth."

So, while breast milk is definitely still best, very small babies may need a little help.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central Limited. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Tarah T Colaizy, Susan Carlson and Audrey F Saftlas. Growth in VLBW infants fed predominantly fortified maternal and donor human milk diets: a retrospective cohort study. BMC Pediatrics, 2012

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central Limited. "What’s best for very low birth weight babies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120816201505.htm>.
BioMed Central Limited. (2012, August 16). What’s best for very low birth weight babies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120816201505.htm
BioMed Central Limited. "What’s best for very low birth weight babies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120816201505.htm (accessed July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins