Breast Milk Good for Preemies

New research reports breast milk really helps premature babies. Reuters reports:
A second study on breast feeding found that it does not raise the risk that children will develop tooth decay later in life, as some earlier research had suggested.

Both reports were published in the October issue of Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The premature infant study involved 773 U.S. babies born extremely underweight -- less than 2.2 pounds (1 kg) -- between 1999 and 2002.

It found that babies in the group given breast milk got higher scores on a test measuring their overall intelligence at 30 months of age, with the highest scores showing up among the children who had received the most breast milk as infants.
Dr. Fuhrman’s a huge advocate of breastfeeding. From Disease-Proof Your Child:
The antibodies derived from mother’s milk are necessary for maximizing immune system function, maximizing intelligence, and protecting against immune system disorders, allergies, and even cancer. The child’s immune system is still underdeveloped until age of two, the same age when the digestive tract seals the leaks (spaces between cells) designed to allow the mother’s antibodies access to the bloodstream. So picking the age of two as the length of recommended breast-feeding is not just a haphazard guess, it matches the age at which the child is no longer absorbing the mother’s immunoglobulins to supplement their own immune system. Nature designed it that way.
I’m no doctor, but, it seems obvious that all this would benefit preemies—right?
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Kirsten - October 1, 2007 9:37 AM

Mama's milk is so incredibly amazing! The nutrient content changes all the time in response to the baby's age, so I'm not at all surprised to read that it has such a profound impact on premie intelligence and health. Hooray for all the "Baby Friendly" certified hospitals that actually support and push breastfeeding rather than sabotaging it!

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