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Breast milk linked to significant early brain growth in preemies

Feeding premature babies mostly breast milk during the first month of life appears to spur more robust brain growth, compared with babies given little or no breast milk.

Preemie Being Fed
Studying preterm infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that preemies whose daily diets were at least 50 percent breast milk had more brain tissue and cortical-surface area by their due dates than premature babies who consumed significantly less breast milk. Pictured is a premature infant in the NICU at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.