As per the information given through a study, premature babies might get a metabolic boost when being fed their mother’s milk as it play an important role in the lives of the babies. It not only fulfils their hunger but also help them grow up in a healthy way.
As per the study published in the journal Pediatric Research, a mother’s breast milk can help preterm babies to get metabolic boost. Researchers at the Pennsylvania State University in the USA compared breast milk of mothers with babies born prematurely that is between 28 and 37 weeks gestation and at term that is after 38 weeks.
“If those microRNAs are being transferred to the infant that could potentially impact how the newborn processes energy and nutrients,” Carney added.
Babies born prematurely are at a major risk of developing host of problems, including failure to thrive and neurodevelopment delays. The babies also tend to be born at a lower weight than the term infants. Therefore, preterm babies have different nutritional needs than the term babies.
Researchers collected 36 samples of breast milk from mothers with infants born at term and 31 samples from mothers with babies born prematurely. Then they processed the samples in the lab, extracting microRNAs and comparing them to the human genome to pinpoint the differences between premature and term breast milk. After the analysis was done, they identified about nine microRNAs that were considerably different in the premature breast milk.
They found that these microRNAs target metabolic processes and may help regulate gastrointestinal function and energy use in premature babies.
“We know that babies born prematurely have better health outcomes with breast milk than with formula, and our results may explain some of these health benefits associated with breast-feeding,” said Steven Hicks, assistant professor at Penn State.