Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Tucson

Breast Milk Supports Preemies’ Developing Brains: Increases Premature Babies' Brain Sizes

A study from the Washington University School of Medicine, in St. Louis, Missouri, has found that premature babies that receive at least 50 percent of their diet from breast milk in their first month have significantly better brain development than babies that consume less breast milk.

The researchers tested 77 infants born an average of 14 weeks before their full nine-month term—referred to as preterm or preemie. The brain scans of the infants were compared with how much breast milk they received while in the natal intensive care unit. Mother’s breast milk was not distinguished from breast milk provided by others.

Senior researcher, physician and child psychiatry professor Cynthia Rogers explains, “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.”

Preterm birth has been linked with neurological and psychiatric problems later in life, and the researchers plan to continue to study the children. “We want to see whether this difference in brain size has an effect on any of these developmental milestones,” says Rogers.

Presented by Transformational Medicine
Show us your best shot of summer in Tucson! Enter our Photo Challenge from July 1-15. The top 5 photos will be voted on by our readers and online friends from August 1-15. The winning photo will be featured in our September issue, and the photographer will win a $40 La Botana Mexican Restaurant gift certificate, plus a $100 certificate to a local business of your choice!
Sponsored By
Join Our Email Newsletter

COMING IN PRINT: 2020 AUGUST Issue
Due Date: July 10. Be a part of our upcoming August issue. Contact [email protected] for cheerful and efficient help with your marketing!
Missed the print deadline? Try email news!

Email News Exclusives with Social Media pushes; ask us about it today! [email protected]

Visit Us on Facebook
2020 Editorial Calendar

Interview with Stephen Dinan of The Shift Network
Eat More Citrus for a Thinner Waistline
COVID Kids: Stress Can Impact Sperm and Future Offspring