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How critically ill infants can benefit most from human milk
Date:8/6/2014

Human milk is infant food, but for sick, hospitalized babies, it's also medicine. That's the central premise of a series of articles in a neonatal nursing journal's special issue focused on human milk for sick newborns. The articles are being published during World Breastfeeding Week, Aug. 1-7, 2014.

Multiple public health and professional medical associations from the World Health Organization to the American Academy of Pediatrics have endorsed the widespread advantages of human milk and breastfeeding for all infants. A new issue of Advances in Neonatal Care is devoted to best practices in providing human milk to hospitalized infants.

"The immunological and anti-inflammatory properties of human milk are especially important for the critically ill infants in our intensive care units," said Diane L. Spatz, Ph.D., R.N.-B.C., FAAN, nurse researcher and director of the Lactation Program at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), and the invited guest editor of the August 2014 issue of the journal, published by the National Association of Neonatal Nurses.

An internationally prominent lactation expert, Spatz leads a robust breastfeeding and Lactation Program at CHOP. CHOP is already on the cutting edge of human milk science and lactation services with a state-of-the-art Human Milk Management Center, and round-the-clock support from nurses and international board-certified lactation consultants, as well as wide-spread institutional support. At CHOP, more than four out of five infants discharged from the Hospital's intensive care units are receiving human milk.

The Hospital has used donor human milk since 2006 for at-risk infants to supplement a mother's own milk supply if it is insufficient or if the mother is unable to provide milk for her infant. This week, CHOP announced plans to launch a non-profit milk bank with the Human Milk Banking Association of North America within a year, an onsite resource not commonl
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Contact: Alison Fraser
Frasera1@email.chop.edu
267-426-6054
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Source:Eurekalert  

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