Breast milk contains multiple ingredients from which newborn infants benefit in many ways. Breastfeeding supports immunity, growth and development and fits best to newborns’ special nutritional needs. Hence, breastfeeding is the optimal choice for both term and preterm infants’ nutrition. Depending on the gestational age at birth and the overall health of the preterm baby, breastfeeding can be a challenge for babies, parents, and healthcare professionals. Optimal nutrition should start as early as possible to ensure good short and long term outcomes in preterm and ill babies.
We are particularly grateful to Prof. Mary Fewtrell for her kind advice on the following information about breastfeeding of preterm infants.