Earlier milk feeds lower severe problems in premature babies
Date : Monday 23 April 2012 13:56
A new study conducted by Oxford University researchers has revealed that earlier milk feeds can help premature babies gain a healthy weight sooner.
The team found that underweight babies, whose tube-feeds were moved off early, were at a lower risk of severe bowel problems, Press TV reported.
They studied four hundred babies, born at least five weeks early and small for their age who were categorized as at-risk premature babies.
High-risk premature babies are vulnerable to bowel problems, including a condition called necrotising enterocolitis (NEC).
To prevent this risk, in previously suggested special care units, the milk feeds started with delay. The recent study, however, indicated that tube feeding cause complications such as liver problems.
Funded by the charity Action Medical Research and co-ordinated by the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at the University of Oxford, the study covered 54 hospitals across the UK and Ireland.
Almost half the babies in the trial needed help with their breathing, and half were introduced to milk feeds on the second day after birth. Others were given milk on day six and three quarters were given their mother's breast milk.
Scientists, led by Dr Alison Leaf and Professor Peter Brocklehurst, concluded that babies "would generally benefit from starting milk feeds within the first 24-48 hours after birth."
The team emphasized that their findings can be put into effect on special care baby units immediately.
Over 60,000 premature babies are born every year in the UK while one in 10 babies needs some form of special care.
Story Code: 40540
Source : Afghan Voice Afency (AVA), International Service