New research shows that breast milk helps preterm babies! Just when you thought a mum’s milk couldn’t have more benefits, it just did!
Maternal milk is essential in every baby’s growth and development, most especially among preterm babies. Experts found that breast milk benefits preterm babies’ future academic achievement. It also reduces the possible development of ADHD symptoms.
In this article, you’ll read:
- 3 Ways Breast Milk Helps Preterm Babies’ Future
- Few Health Benefits of Breastfeeding
Every parent must know that breast milk is the best and ideal food for infants. Aside from being safe and clean, it also contains antibodies that help in protecting your child against any common childhood illnesses.
Mums should always keep in mind that breast milk is essential for the baby regardless of age. It is beneficial for both the mother’s and the premature baby’s health.
There are various reasons why mums should keep on nursing their children or feeding them breastmilk. Recent studies found that breastfeeding premature babies could positively affect their future growth and development.
3 Ways Breast Milk Helps Preterm Babies’ Future
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High risk of lower academic achievement increases when children are born preterm. Their condition could lower their academic achievement, particularly in math, reading, and other skills.
Aside from that, preterm babies are also at greater risk for ADHD or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Fortunately, experts discovered that maternal milk could help preterm babies have greater academic achievement in the future. In addition, it could also help in reducing the risk of ADHD among preterm babies.
According to Mandy Brown Belfort, the author of the study, “Our study finds that there may be long-term neurodevelopmental benefits to providing maternal milk to preterm infants.”
She also added that their study aims to emphasise the importance of providing support for initiating and sustaining lactation. It is because maternal milk at an early age can pose benefits in later years.
Early Intervention Through Breast Milk
While children born prematurely could be at heightened risk of lower academic achievement, new studies suggest the importance of early intervention.
Parents should take early intervention in the first weeks and months of a preterm infant’s life. It could be very beneficial and lead to neurodevelopmental outcomes later.
Bringham and Women’s Hospital collaborate with the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute for this study. In this research, their followed preterm infants for seven years.
They found that preterm babies receiving a more significant amount of maternal milk had improved academic achievement, higher IQs and reduced ADHD symptoms. It is the positive result of giving greater quantities of breastmilk during and after their time in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Here are 3 ways in which breast milk helps in the future of preterm or premature babies:
Greater Academic Achievement and Higher IQs
Maternal or breast milk consumption of preterm babies helps improve their school-age outcomes. Breastfeeding may influence children’s academic achievement through brain development and general health.
Studies found that longer periods of breastfeeding can result in better educational outcomes in children. Kids breastfed longer could have higher academic scores and performs better in school. They will become more responsive in mathematics, spelling, and writing.
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Advantageous to Cognitive Outcome
Several experts believe that breastfeeding contains some cognitive benefits. They also believe that nursing preterm babies help improve their cognitive skills as they grow up.
Cognitive ability refers to mental processes, including thinking, remembering, and making decisions. Aside from that, it also includes creativity, imagination, and behaviour.
Moreover, experts insist that breastfeeding provides long-term benefits for children, especially for those born preterm. They also stated that breast milk assists in the development of better reading and understanding.
Reduced Risk of ADHD
Nursing babies, especially in their first few days, weeks, and months can positively impact their health and development. It primarily includes their increased protection against illnesses.
More importantly, breastfeeding may help protect against ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Nursing a baby for a longer period of time has a protective effect against the development of ADHD.
Experts counted it to be an additional biological advantage of breast milk.
Other Health Benefits of Breastfeeding
Indeed, breast milk benefits infants, most especially their health, growth, and development. While maternal milk can positively help the babies, nursing a child can also benefit the health of the breastfeeding mums.
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Benefits for the Baby
Breastfeeding babies can have long-term benefits that could last even into adulthood. The longer a mother breastfeeds, the greater the benefits will be for a child.
Maternal milk can help reduce the risks of the following:
- Diarrhoea and Vomiting
- Cardiovascular disease when they become adult
- Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
Benefits for the Breastfeeding Mums
Breastfeeding and making maternal milk can also bring health benefits for mothers. Just like for babies, breastfeeding mums also benefit from nursing.
Being a breastfeeding mum can help you lower the risk of the following:
- Ovarian cancer
- Breast cancer
- Cardiovascular disease