There are many reasons feeding babies human milk is really important. This recommendation is supported by a lot of research that proves human milk makes a difference in the lives of babies, especially premature babies. Below are a few of the many benefits of human milk (aka breast milk or human donor milk):
Feeding breast milk to a premature baby helps
- lower the chances of developing NEC
- protect the baby from infection
- control the baby's inflammatory response
- mature the premature gut
- feedings be tolerated
The importance of colostrum. Colostrum is the first milk mothers produce and it contains vital immune stimulating components that premature infants lack. Colostrum can be used before your baby is taking feedings by swabbing the inside of the mouth with drops of colostrum. Watch this nifty video by Dr. Gephart explaining the benefits and demonstrating how it is performed.
Breastfeeding and the Workplace
Increasingly employers are supporting breastfeeding in the workplace. They should because it is the law.
In 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) provided standards for break time for Nursing Mothers under the FLSA. See US Department of Labor Fact Sheet #73 for more information.
Policy examples for supporting nursing mothers and lactation in the workplace and on campus:
Information about federal breastfeeding laws is provided by United States Breastfeeding Committee which is an organization that supports breastfeeding initiatives.
La Leche League offers multi-language breastfeeding information including topics related to premature infants.
MedlinePlus – Offers breastfeeding information in many languages and an array of info and resources related to premature babies (aka preemies).
Womenshealth.gov offers videos and support resources pertaining to breastfeeding.
Resources for Parents and Family Members
Healthychildren.org – Provides many topics that are available in both English and Spanish including six pages of topics related to breastfeeding and preemie topics.
LactMed - A database on drugs and lactation. Part of the U.S. National Library of Medicine's database (TOXNET), the target audience is nursing mothers and healthcare practitioners. Over 450 medications and chemicals are included.
Breastfeeding topic examples:
A Breastfeeding Checklist: Are You Nursing Correctly? (English and Spanish including audio)
Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mom (English and Spanish including audio)
Colostrum: Your Baby’s First Meal (English and Spanish including audio)
Preemie topic examples:
About Skin-to-Skin Care (English and Spanish including audio)
Watching for Complications (English and Spanish including audio)