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Breastfeeding stimulates brain development in preemies

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: We are all aware with the tremendous health benefits of breast feeding. Being rich in antibodies, it strengthens the immune system of your babies and help them fight against viruses bacteria.

 

Premature babies are always remain at higher risk of developing neurological problems. Health experts belief that preterm birth is the major cause of neurological problems in children and has been linked to psychiatric disorders later in childhood.

According to a latest research, premature babies who are mostly breastfed (irrespective of whether they are fed by their own mother or any other women) in first during their first month show better brain development then babies given little or no breast milk.

 

The presence of fat in breast milk boosts the development of baby's brain and neurological tissues, which is especially important for preemies.

For the study, the researchers carefully observed the intake of breast milk in 77 preemies at St. Louis Children's Hospital in the US. Then, the researchers conducted brain scans on those infants at about the time each would have been born had the babies not arrived early.

 

All of them were born at least 10 weeks early, with an average gestation of 26 weeks, or about 14 weeks premature.

Because they are still developing, preemies typically have smaller brains than full-term infants.

Researchers plan to follow the babies in the study through their first several years of life to see how they grow, focusing on their motor, cognitive and social development.
As the babies get older, the researchers believe they will be able to determine the effects of early exposure to breast milk on later developmental outcomes.

(With PTI inputs)

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