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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The Benefits of Human Milk for Premature Infants

item Schanler, Richard

Submitted to: Proceedings World Congress of Perinatal Medicine
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: April 18, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Premature infants benefit from human milk, particularly milk that is multinutrient supplemented. The feeding of human milk enhances their host defense, specifically related to reducing the number of bloodstream infections, necrotizing enterocolitis, and urinary tract infections. The nutritional quality of human milk needs to be augmented when feeding premature infants, particularly to meet the great needs for calcium and phosphorus, and for protein and sodium. The use of fortified human milk generally provides the premature infant adequate growth, nutrient retention, and biochemical indices of nutritional status when fed at approximately 180 ml/kg/day compared with unfortified human milk. Thus, for premature infants, neonatal centers should encourage the feeding of fortified human milk along with skin-to-skin contact as a reasonable method to enhance milk production, while potentially facilitating the development of an enteromammary response.

Last Modified: 4/18/2015
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