Published On: Mon, May 2nd, 2016

Breast milk helps in brain growth of infants



A research study has shared that feeding premature babies generally breast milk, whether it came from the babies’ own mothers or provided by other women, all through the initial month of life seems to urge further healthy brain development, evaluated with babies provided a bit or no breast milk.

Cynthia Rogers, who is the lead author from St. Louis Children’s Hospital in the US, stated that “The brains of babies born before their due dates usually are not fully developed,”

Rogers further added that “But breast milk has been shown to be helpful in other areas of development, so we looked to see what effect it might have on the brain,”

Rogers elaborated that “With MRI scans; we found that babies fed more breast milk had larger brain volumes. This is important because several other studies have shown a correlation between brain volume and cognitive development,’’

The results are planned to be described at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies, in Baltimore on 3 May.

The research study involved 77 preterm babies. The researchers with hindsight appeared to observe how much breast milk those babies had got whereas being concerned for in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in the US.

After that, the researchers carried out brain scans on those babies at almost the time everyone would have been born had the babies not turned up before.

All the infants were born at a minimum 10 weeks before time, with a standard development of 26 weeks, or almost 14 weeks premature. As they are yet growing, preemies normally have minor brains than full-term babies.

In measuring the consequences of breast milk on the infants’ brains, the researchers did not differentiate amid milk that arrived from the infants’ own mothers and breast milk provided by further women. Somewhat, they emphasized on the effects of breast milk overall, primary writer Erin Reynolds, a research technician in Rogers’ laboratory, stated.

Reynolds continued that “As the amount of breast milk increased, so did a baby’s chances of having a larger cortical surface area,”

Reynolds stated that “The cortex is the part of the brain associated with cognition, so we assume that more cortex will help improve cognition as the babies grow and develop,”

About the Author

Sidra Muntaha

- Sidra Tul Muntaha is a journalist (MA-Mass Communication and M.Phil in Mass Communication) based in Lahore. She is working as an editor at fashion, style and entertainment in the section of the Kooza. She writes fashion and entertainment articles for The Kooza News.