Background: Human milk is the ideal source of nutrition for full term neonates, but there is controversy regarding its use as a nutrition source for preterm and low birth weight infants. However current data supports the use of human milk for low birth weight infants. This study was undertaken to evaluate the growth of both preterm and term small for gestational age infants nursed on exclusive breast milk from birth to four months of age. Methods: This was a prospective, longitudinal study carried out in a recognized baby-friendly hospital where exclusive breast-feeding is practiced in all neonates. All consecutive low birth weight neonates irrespective of gestational age, born during the study period of two years were included in the study. Assessment of growth parameters included recording of weight (daily when in the hospital and later weekly), length (weekly) and head circumference (weekly) till the age of four months. Result: Low birth weight infants, both the preterm and the term small for gestational age, on being exclusively breastfed by their own mothers, gained weight and had an increase in their head circumference and length to the levels almost comparable to the standard fetal- infant growth norms. Conclusion: Exclusive breast-feeding results in adequate growth in low birth weight babies including preterms.
Singh, D., Devi, N., & Raman, T. S. R. (2009). Exclusive breast feeding in low birth weight babies. Medical Journal Armed Forces India, 65(3), 208–212. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0377-1237(09)80004-X