Human milk can significantly improve nutritional and neurodevelopmental outcomes in premature babies, say experts.
University of California, San Diego Health Sciences have recently launched a website dedicated to offering families and the medical community, valuable information about the best way to provide human milk to premature and underweight infants.
The website was developed with a 10,000 dollars grant from The March of Dimes San Diego chapter.
Infants born prematurely sometimes develop an infection called necrotizing enercolitis (NEC), the most common life-threatening gastrointestinal emergency in the newborn period.
It causes intense inflammation and acute intestinal necrosis or death.
"One of the goals of this website is to help fellow hospitals adapt our model of human milk nutrition in their own neonatal intensive care units," said Dr Jae Kim, medical director of the Supporting Premature Infant Nutrition Program (SPIN) at UC San Diego Medical Centre.
"Since the implementation of our feeding protocols, we have seen rates of human milk feeding go up by 15 percent. We'd love to see this become a nationwide trend," Kim added.
The SPIN program at UCSD Medical Centre is focused on the provision, analysis, and research of human milk to improve nutritional and neurodevelopmental outcomes in preterm babies. The program is believed to be the first of its kind in the United States.