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.

Related Articles


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 March 3, 2015 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 March 3, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mom Triumphs Over Tragedy, Helps Other Families

Mom Triumphs Over Tragedy, Helps Other Families

AP (Mar. 3, 2015) After her son, Dax, died from a rare form of leukemia, Julie Locke decided to give back to the doctors at St. Jude Children&apos;s Research Hospital who tried to save his life. She raised $1.6M to help other patients and their families. (March 3) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Looted and Leaking, South Sudan's Oil Wells Pose Health Risk

Looted and Leaking, South Sudan's Oil Wells Pose Health Risk

AFP (Mar. 3, 2015) Thick black puddles and a looted, leaking ruin are all that remain of the Thar Jath oil treatment facility, once a crucial part of South Sudan&apos;s mainstay industry. Duration: 01:13 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Woman Convicted of Poisoning Son

Woman Convicted of Poisoning Son

AP (Mar. 3, 2015) A woman who blogged for years about her son&apos;s constant health woes was convicted Monday of poisoning him to death by force-feeding heavy concentrations of sodium through his stomach tube. (March 3) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Treadmill Test Can Predict Chance Of Death Within A Decade

Treadmill Test Can Predict Chance Of Death Within A Decade

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) Johns Hopkins researchers analyzed 58,000 heart stress tests to come up with a formula that predicts a person&apos;s chances of dying in the next decade. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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